At the sixth attempt, the visibility was found to have improved and it was possible to pas down the Brae. At 8.50 p.m. The team returned having located the bodies of all the men, eight on Waddell’s Brae and one further inbye on the side of the haulage road.
A succession of teams, each of four men, was then organised and the first body was brought to the fresh air base at 9. 25 p.m. and the ninth and last at 2.30 a.m. on the following morning.
Those who lost their lives were all brushers. They were:-
Edward O’Neil aged 23 years
Joseph Martin aged 26 years
Henry Hagan aged 26 years
Joseph Melvin Kelly aged 30 years
Robert Martin aged 35 years
Peter Walker aged 36 years
James Martin aged 38 years
Peter Byrne aged 58 years
Joseph Campbell aged 59 years
Mr. John Dean Leslie, Sheriff-Substitute of Stirling, Dumbarton and
Clackmannanshire with a jury, conducted the Inquiry into the circumstances under the Fatal Accidents and Sudden Deaths Inquiry (Scotland) Act, 1906 on the 25th and 26th April, 1938. All interested parties were represented and the verdict of the jury was a formal one:-
“That the men died from asphyxia, caused by the inhalation of carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide, as the result of a fire which broke out in the side haulage road in the No.1 Pit.”
The jury made no observations or recommendations. The Report into the disaster thought that there was little doubt that the fire started at the junction box where the small cable joined the larger one. This was the place where the fire was first seen and it spread from there. The effect of the first fire would have been to increase the quantity of air along the side haulage road but as it increased, it would alter the distribution of the ventilation in Kelly’s and Waddell’s Sections. With a large volume of air passing over the fire, this would serve to dissipated to the smoke and make it less noticeable. The air was heavily polluted with the poisonous gasses and would have overcome the men before the doors were opened in Paterson’s Road.
A full report of the electrical aspects of the fire was made by Mr. J.A.B. Horsley, H.M. Electrical Inspector of Mines.