The Brunner Mine disaster happened at 9:30am on Thursday 26 March 1896, when an explosion deep in the Brunner Mine, in the West Coast region of New Zealand's South island, killed all 65 miners below ground.The Brunner Mine disaster is the worst mining disaster in New Zealand’s history.. Brunner Coal Mine and West Coast Mining Disasters Early explorer and surveyor, Thomas Brunner (1821?–1874), was the first to identify bituminous coal fields in the Grey Valley in the late 1840s. New Zealand has seen its share of mine disasters.

Two men sent underground to investigate were later found unconscious from black damp, a suffocating mixture of nitrogen and carbon dioxide. Huntly in 1914 claimed the lives of 43 miners when a miner's naked light ignited firedamp in Ralph's mine, said West Coast … At 9.30 a.m. an explosion tore through the Brunner mine in Westland’s Grey Valley. Mining in his namesake gorge did not start until the 1860s. View of the coalmining town of Brunner, showing the bridge and mine.