Number 20 Coal Shaft DisasterPrint Page Print this page

26-May-2016 (Sandra Brown)
26-May-2016 (Sandra Brown)

Photographs supplied by Kent Watson / Sandra Brown

Two plaques commemorate miners killed in two underground explosions on 20 February 1931 and 15 February 1937.

The first occurred during the first year of operation on the 20th February 1931, when 4 men died underground. The 1937 shaft explosion at No.20 shaft was the worst accident in the mine's history with thirteen men dying underground. The No.20 shaft explosion occurred during a period when the mine was spiralling into decline: to be profitable the mine had to produce 500,000 tons per annum, and it had not been able to produce this amount since 1934. The underground disaster contributed to the mine producing only half the required yield in 1937 and led to the relationship between the Miners Union and management reaching an all time low.


Address:Bass Highway, Dalyston, 3992
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -38.575421
Long: 145.571196
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Plaque
Monument Theme:Disaster
Actual Event Start Date:20-February-1931
Actual Event End Date:15-February-1937


Left Side Inscription

Wonthaggi State Coal Mine Committee 
Wonthaggi & District Historical Society

Dedicated in memory of those who died as a result of two underground explosions

20th February 1931
[ 4 names ]

15th February 1937
[ 13 names ]

Right Side Inscription

Wonthaggi & District Historical Society

No 20 Shaft State Coal Mines

Shaft sinking commenced 1928

Depth 720 feet

Output 1,643,824 tons

Closed 1962

Also in memory of those killed in two explosions

1931 - 4   1937 - 13


Source: MA,VMR, VHD
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au