Coal mine fire, 19th century

Coal mine fire, 19th century

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Credit: SHEILA TERRY/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Coal mine fire. 19th-century artwork of a team of firefighters trying to extinguish a fire in a coal mine. They are using a fire extinguisher that is designed to use water charged under pressure with carbon dioxide (this forms carbonated water, also called soda water). As the water leaves the nozzle the carbon dioxide bubbles out of solution. This fizzy water is used to extinguish the fire. Such fires could be caused by accidents with blasting powder and flammable gases. This was one of the many dangers faced by 19th-century coal miners. Artwork published in Mines and Miners (L. Simonin, 1868).

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