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cage and went down to within 6 feet of the bottom. I could hear deceased roaring at the bottom ; he said, “ Don't let the cage down on me;" I said, “No fear.” He was laid on his back seriously injured. He died in the Cottage Hospital about 5 p.m.
Under the direction of James and Oliver Holohan a large pump sett had been drawn up the shaft shortly before the accident occurred, this pump sett had dislodged a wood bearer, which fell on other bearers across the shaft, so as to obstruct the descent of
When the pump sett was landed at the surface the men went to their dinner. The blacksmith then asks to be let down to shoe the horse ; the lander did not ask the pumpmen if the shaft was in order ; no examination was made to ascertain if anything had been displaced.
MISCELLANEOUS UNDERGROUND ACCIDENTS.
In Lancashire, 15 accidents causing 16 deaths ; 61 non-fatal accidents injuring 61 persons.
Under the head of accidents with explosives, no fatality, none injured. Not a single accident.
Of the above 3 persons were injured while illegally riding and 1 person injured by going in front instead of behind tubs while moving them by hand on inclined roads.
Also of the above 1 person was killed and 4 persons were injured by ropes or chains breaking
The fatal accident occurred on August 16th, at 11 a.m., at the Gin Pit, Astley & Tyldesley Collieries, Limited. James Moulsdale, 30, collier, lowering a full tub down a brow by means of a crab winch, when the rope slipped off the drum barrel (8 inches diameter) on to the iron shaft (1 inch diameter), causing slack rope, the jerk on the tub taking up this slack broke the rope attachment to the full tub, allowed this full tub to run down the brow, it being a double crab, an empty tub ascending whilst the full tub descended ; when the full tub in its descent collided with the empty tub the handle of the crab was jerked from the hands of Moulsdale, he received a terrific blow on the forehead, fracturing the skull. On the opposite end of the crab barrel to that from which the rope slipped, there were projecting pins to keep the rope in position, strictly speaking they were not required there ; at the end from which the rope did slip there were no projecting pins, holes were in the barrel, but no pins in the holes, no flange, nothing to keep the rope from slipping on the axle. There was no pawl to prevent the crab reversing, no proper brake, only a rope several times round the barrel. At the Inquest held by the Coroner for the City of Manchester, the imperfect condition was freely commented upon and strongly condemned. I give an illustration showing the form of crab.
Many accidents have occurred in connection with similar crabs, terrific blows are given by the handles, the prevailing idea appears to be to make the crabs as simple as possible, they ought to have all the safeguards that experience suggests are required. It costs very little to provide.
In the 4 non-fatal accidents, 2 occurred from haulage ropes breaking, 1 from a D link coupling a jig rope to the tub, and 1 from a chain coupling a jig rope to tubs breaking at the weld.
There were 6 deaths from injury received by trams and tubs. In one case deceased bumped his head against a low bar. Whilst lying on the ground he was run into by a drawer pushing a tub close behind ; in one case an endless chain jenny tenter was trying to put a tub on the rails when he was caught by tubs being drawn by the chain. He ought to have stopped the chain. One death occurred from a runaway tub in a jig, the stop block had not been properly placed by the jigger ; 1 death occurred from a tub left unsecured in an inclined shunt, the inquest was prolonged, had to be adjourned by reason of the witnesses not telling the truth ; 1 death occurred from a tub in charge of a drawer getting from his control and running away. He had contrary to the rules used a wood scotch which broke, he was prosecuted, convicted and fined forty shillings and costs ; 1 death occurred from a drawer trying to run before a tub travelling up the brow attached to an endless rope. He followed another drawer who just escaped being caught ; this drawer had the alias of "gallows." He was well known to be a daring, reckless fellow, not fit to work in a pit.
Sundry Underground Accidents caused 8 deaths. Five of these were from blood poisoning following slight injury. At Newtown Colliery, a drawer, 49
drawer, 49 years of age, lifting a small lump of fireclay to place on a pack, the lump broke, one piece scarred his right leg ; he died in about a month. At Brackley Colliery, a joiner's labourer, 53 years of age, whilst assisting a joiner to erect a wood frame for naulage wheel, slipped or stumbled in a small hole, grazed the skin of his elbow ; died in about a fortnight. At Moorfield Colliery, a drawer, aged 16, whilst pushing an empty waggon, his feet bare, knocked the skin from his big toe ; from this slight wound he died in 11 days. At Whinney Hill Colliery a collier, 31 years of age, knocked his knee against a tub, the merest scratch to the outer skin ; he died in 4 days. At Great Lever Colliery, a collier, 29 years old, struck his left knee with the point of a pick, a slight puncture ; he worked the shift out and the following dar, then took to bed ; the doctor gave him a bottle of poisonous liviment as a lotion ; he wilfully swallowed three-fourths of a bottle of this lotion, and 2 days afterwards died—9 days after the injury. Ar the inquest two medical men declared, after a post mortem examination, that death was due to blood poisoning, the three-fourths of a bottle of poisonous lotion had not contributed to the death.
Pendleton Colliery Accident.--All other accidents in the district were single fatalities this one caused two deaths. On July 28th, about 1.30 a.m., in the Rams Seam, William White, 52, and Alfred Hall, 37, colliers, lost their lives, at the face of a working place ; one was getting coal (near to him a tub), the other was shovelling dirt into the waste to stow it. They were 29 feet apart. The waggoner, fortunately, had just left the place to get some tubs. He stated that he heard a big “ crump” like thunder ; the air was checked ; he ran for his life. Fifty yards from the bottom of the brow he met the fireman, Robert Winstanley. The latter had heard the “crump,” noticed the check to the air current, and smelled gas ; he went forward to the face and shouted. White frequently called for help. I was present when the body of White was found, about 5 p.m. ; saw it in situ. He was doubled up, pressed between the upheaved floor and the roof.
The men were working at a pillar of coal 70 feet wide. This had been worked up about 40 yards, and there remains about 60 yards of coal to the rise. The coal has been worked out on each side of this pillar. The Rams Seam is about 5 feet 6 inches in thickness ; 3 feet 4 inches below the coal consists of the usual fireclay floor, then a little coal seam 3 feet thick ; below this is a rock floor.
Shortly before the accident a few props had been drawn on the right hand side of the place. The plan which is here given shows the manner in which the working face was timbered to support the roof; one chock by the Jeft-hand side of the brow, ten bars across the face with the addition of a number of single props on each side of the brow packs three yards wide to within 10 feet of the face.
For a length of 44 feet across the face the floor was upheaved 3 feet in height; the ends were crushed like meal. Over a great part of this upheaved area a stratum of roof 2 feet in thickness had settled. It was obvious that the upheaval of the floor was the major part of the disturbance. Possibly the drawing of the props initiated a movement, but it must have been either unnoticed by the men who had not ceased work, or have been so quickly followed by the upheaval, that the men had not any warning—they had not moved a yard. A large quantity of gas was given off from the coal seain below the Rams seam. After careful consideration and enquiry I do not attribute the upheaval to the gas. This working place is about 3,300 feet below the surface. In my opinion the disaster was caused by a sudden settlement of PLAN OF WORKING PLACE IN RAMS MINE, PENDLETON COLLIERY.