13 January 2023
by Sarah Morgan

Historical unrecorded mine stabilised to keep Scottish community safe

Major coal mining subsidence in Ayrshire, Scotland, requires permanent safety solution.

Safety works being undertaken at Saltcoats © Coal Authority

The Coal Authority has secured the site of a serious subsidence incident caused by a historical unrecorded mine. The serious subsidence incident involving eight flats was reported in Saltcoats, Ayrshire, Scotland in September 2021.

At the time, the Coal Authority worked closely with the emergency services and North Ayrshire Council to support the evacuation and conduct thorough investigations.

Records and these onsite investigations determined that unrecorded mining, dating back 130 years or more, as the cause of the subsidence.

Site investigations were carried out, followed by detailed ground investigation. Damage to the properties was extensive and required demolition to prevent any risk of collapse and ensure public safety.

The Coal Authority has supported residents by securing them emergency accommodation before finding temporary housing where needed and later help to find suitable replacement housing and accommodation.

Work to fill in and secure the collapsed site were completed in autumn 2022. Twenty-four rods with monitors and 63 monitoring pins on the site, which are designed to detect any movement, were also installed. The site is now fenced, further monitoring is to be undertaken.

Julia Draycon, Community and Emergency Response Director at the Coal Authority, says, 'This type of incident is extremely rare in an urban area. However, the Coal Authority are on call 24/7 to respond to any mine hazard or risk.'

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