Methane Gas, was called Fire Damp by the Miners and is lighter than air so when they tested for gas underground, using Humphrey Davey's safety lamp they lifted the lamp high up in the roadways. They could tell the percentage of any gas by the way the shape & colour of the flame.
So any gas at the bottom of that shaft would rise up and the kids playing with fire would have caused the explosion.
For any new visitors to our Board, Humphrey Davey tested his lamp using Hebburn Colliery gas to prove it worked. Then he tested it 'on the job'.
That is Hebburn's claim to fame and it saved thousands of lives.
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