Research Article

Cardowan coal mine explosion: experience of a mass burns incident.

Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1983; 287 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.287.6389.403 (Published 06 August 1983) Cite this as: Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1983;287:403
  1. C Allister,
  2. G M Hamilton

    Abstract

    A coal mine explosion 1700 feet (516 m) underground and two miles (3.2 km) from the pit head resulted in 40 casualties. Two hours elapsed between the explosion and the arrival of patients at hospital. Six patients suffered mechanical injuries, only one of which was life threatening. Thirty six suffered burns; in 18 over 15% of the total body surface area was affected. Nineteen patients had a mild respiratory upset requiring oxygen treatment. The average length of inpatient stay in those admitted was 24 days. Early assessment and treatment in the accident and emergency department was relatively simple because of the large proportion of burn injuries. Lack of communication between site and hospital made administration of the disaster difficult.