148 coal miners who lost their lives 131 years ago in the worst mining disaster in B.C. history are being remembered in Nanaimo Thursday.
Flags on city buildings are being flown at half-staff to mark the anniversary of the 1887 tragedy.
Explosions at the No. 1 Esplanade Mine in Nanaimo is still the second worst mining disaster in Canadian history.
A blast that ripped through a Hillcrest, Alberta mine in 1914 and killed 189 workers is the only mining incident to take more lives in the country.
Nanaimo council passed a resolution in 2015 to lower flags on each May 3 at all city facilities in memory of the 148 miners that died.
“By lowering our flags we are remembering and honouring the 148 lives that were tragically lost in our community,” Nanaimo Mayor Bill McKay said in a statement.
“Those who died were our hard-working pioneers who left loving families behind, but we have never forgotten.”
Two explosions happened just before 6 p.m. that day and a jury blamed the blast on the firing of an unprepared and badly planted charge that ignited gas fuelled by coal dust.