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crosscut mine their way was barred by the water, and they had to travel a heading situated inside the crosscut mine and reach the shaft by the upper level ; in the excitement the men at work, five in number, in the Splint Coal were forgotten, and the manager in company with a miner, who volunteered to accompany him, tried to force their way to them by the crosscut, but the current was too strong and they had to retreat.

Arrangements were at once made to try and keep the water in check, and to this end the speed of the pumps was increased commensurate with safety, and water chests capable of drawing 50 tons per hour were put on the cages.

A telephone message reached my home at 3.30 p.m., and as I was away on inspection duties I got back at 3.50 p.m. and at once proceeded to the colliery, which I reached at 5.15 p.m. Having examined the plan, I descended along with the manager and some officials to the upper level, and by means of “chapping” was able to locate the entombed men in the seam below, at D. As the water continued to rise in the shaft it was decided after consultation with the manager to put down a bore hole, and by it to lower food and light until they were rescued, and to effect a rescue to make an opening between the seams; the bore hole was completed early on the morning of the 5th, and after communicating with the men below it was discovered that only three were present and by

chapping " the two others were located further to the dip. To reach these men a mine was started in the strata, but this was finally abandoned when the opening was made.

The work of sinking the opening proceeded without intermission until it was completed at 8.15 p.m. on the night of the 6th, the time occupied being 70 hours, when the three men were brought up, and as soon as this had been effected a rescue party descended the opening and made their way to the two other men, and got into communication with them.

The men worked in the level, and when they discovered that the water had cut off their escape by the shaft they went to the rise workings, where work was discontinued about six months before, and the roof had fallen almost close to the coal face, and they were unable to proceed further either to right or left, and were compelled to remain un the roadway at C. To reach the men and effect a rescue the fallen face had to be cleared for a distance of 24 yards, and the party resolutely set to work to accomplish this ; the work was progressing satisfactorily when carbonic acid gas made its appearance, caused in a great measure by the oxygen in the limited area being consumed by the burning of the lights and breathing of the men, and for well nigh three hours a struggle ensued between determined workmen on the one hand and the foul atmosphere on the other, and it looked as if the workmen would be defeated and the poor fellows left to perish, when a cylinder of

pressure was obtained and taken to the place and by means of an india-rubber tube the gas was allowed to escape, the effect being that the entombed men, now much exhausted, were revived, and the atmosphere sufficiently cleared to permit acetylene lights to burn, and in a short time the rescue was accomplished, not a moment too soon as in less than two hours the black damp was at the top of the opening

During their confinement the men were in dire straits, as the water was at one time 1 foot 6 inches from the coal face, and to sit up straight, stones were placed in the water and their heads forced into the recess made in the fallen roof; the younger man prior to his light going out on the night of the 4th, wrote a farewell letter on a stone to his friends.

While the work of rescue was going on, either myself, Mr. Whalley, or Mr. Carey were present.

The water came from an old clay hole, situated 1,250 yards to the west of the Tullygarth Colliery, by an old shaft of the Clackmannan Colliery, abandoned about 30 years ago, and supposed to be filled up; the clay hole is outwith the royalty of the former colliery. The old shaft collapsed and the water found its way into the waste of the Cherry Coal, which is connected to the workings in the Tullgarth Colliery.

The quantity of water which found its way into the working was estimated at 3,000,000 gallons.

No. 77 in List.—The second inrush took place at Northfield Colliery, Prestonpans, in the workings of the Jewel Coal seam.

A slope dook was driven in the seam and stopped on a hitch in July, 1905, and in the interval it naturally filled with water.

Operations were pushed on further to the dip, levels driven and places run to the rise in the direction of the slope dook.

The same hitch met with in the slope dook was struck in the level B, where deceased worked, and they were instructed to work to the rise in the same direction

oxygen under

[blocks in formation]

PLAN SHEWING CHERRY COAL AND SPLINT COAL WORKINGS.

SCALE

2500

Line of old faces of Clackmannan Colliery in Cherry Coal. Splint Goal workings Hatched.

CROSS PUT MINE.

TULLYGARTH PIT CHERRY COAL 25 ms SPLINT COAL 3072 EMS

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