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The Drummond Colliery Disaster of May 1873 was Nova Scotia's first large-scale mining catastrophe.The Drummond Colliery, located in Westville in the Pictou coalfield, employed approximately 350 men and boys; both gunpowder and pick-axes were used to extract the coal.Springhill is a legendary community in Nova Scotia's mining history, its triple disasters indelible reminders of the tremendous human cost paid for challenging the earth's depths.The first Springhill Mine Disaster occurred on 21 February 1891, when accumulated coal dust caused an horrific explosion which swept through Nos.1 and 2 Collieries, leaving 125 dead and dozens more injured.The miner's life has always been a dark, dangerous and precarious one, carried out in the earth's margins and depths, usually far underground — and in the case of Nova Scotia's coal mines, frequently in dank subterranean tunnels stretching for kilometres out beneath the Atlantic Ocean.Sweat from the miner's brow has often been mingled with blood on the coal or gold.Contributions to the Miners' Relief Fund came from across Canada and the British Empire, including from Queen Victoria.The number of dead was unprecedented for the nineteenth century in Nova Scotian and Canadian mining history.

The list will never be complete; their memory is forever.

The manager, John Dunn, recognized that the fire was out of control and ordered an evacuation.

It was too late; as he attempted to leave, the first explosion occurred and most of the miners then working underground were immediately killed or injured.

Miners from nearby collieries quickly arrived and began attempts to rescue trapped men and boys — whose moans could be heard distinctly, carried upward through the mine's air shaft.

In the midst of the confusion there was a second explosion.