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LONDON CORRESPONDENCE.

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FOREIGN AND COLONIAL.

jTHE SOUTH AFRICAN ABORIGINES.

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SUPPRESSION OF THE SLAYE TRADE…

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WILLS AND BEQUESTS.

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THE EASTERN QUESTION.

ANOTHER COLLIERY EXPLOSION.

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ANOTHER COLLIERY EXPLOSION. A disaster of a terrible nature has occurred at Barrwood Collieries, Kilsyth, near Glasgow, the result of an explosion of firedamp. Barrwood Collieries are situated about 500 yards to the east of the town of Kilsyth, and belong to the well-known firm of coal and iron masters, Messrs. Wm. Baird and Co. They have been in operation lor a considerable number of years, and have generally been counted safe, although three years ago four men wero killed by an explosion of gas at Barrwood No. 1 pit. The colliery con- sists of two pits, No. 1 and No. 2, which are distant from each other over 100 yar5a. .Both ironstone and coal are worked—the coal seam being the deeper of the twe. At No. 1 pit the depth is 120 fathoms, and at No. 2 it is 130 fathoms. The explosion occurred in No. 2 pit, and in the coal work- ings the colliers began work, as usual, at an early hour in the merning, and all went well till shortly after eight o'clock. At that time an explosion of fire- damp occurred in the neighbourhood of No. 2r haft. The blast does not seem to have been of so severe a character as might have been ex- pected from the result with which it seems to have been attended but an immediate consequence of the blast was to set fire to the facings, and to stop the communication with certain parts of the mine in which a number of men were at work. So soon as the explosion occurred the men who were in the rise workings made for the bottom of the shaft, and with some difficulty were brought to the surface. Thirty or forty of their number, it was found, had escaped scatheless, but ten of them are very badly burned. With respect to two, named Waliis and Fleming, fears are entertained fer their recovery. The men in the dock workings un- happily were less fortunate, and, though it was con- sidered just passible that they might have reached some outlying part of the mine where they would be free from the deadly influence of the fire damp, but very faint hopes were from the first entertained of their safety. The news spread through the district with the pro- verbial speed of evil tidings, and the most painful scenes were witnessed around the pit's mouth, to which almost the entire population of the burgh hurried. The injured men were placed under medical care, and had their wounds attended to. Operations had been meanwhile begun with the view of dit covering the men who were still imprisoned in the mine. Ex- ploring parties were sent down No. 2 shaft, and pene- trated towards No. 1 for a considerable distance, but long before they reached the point where the men are supposed to be, their lights were extinguished,and they wf re compelled to beat a hasty retreat. At half-pasc two o'clock one of the exploring parties came to the surface, but no prospect was held out of the successful completion of their praiseworthy efforts.. Liter intelligence gives the number of men entombed in tha pit as sixteen, and no hope is entertained that any of them will be got out alive. They are believed to have been working in the north-west deck of the pit, a hundred fathoms from the bottom of. No. 2 shaft. The pit is supplied with a large current of air, which passes to the extremity of their workings, where it splits and distributes it- self through the various* rannSc&tions. Bub this air current had its course altered in consequence of the explosion, and instead of going down No. 2 shaft and up No. 1 shaft, it passed down No. 1 and up No. 2 shaft. Owing to several small explosions which occurred after the main explosion, it was foutod neces- sary to cease exploring the mine until the current of air could be got back into its original channel, and thua enable the explorers to go down No. 2 shaft, j The explosion at the Kilsyth collieries has unfor- tunately proved extremely disastrous, as was feared. There is not the slightest hope of any of the sixteen entombed miners being got out alive. In order to test the condition of the air in the damaged shaft a j kettle containing a Davy lamp was lowered to within nine fathoms of the bottom, and the result being thought satisfactory several men were lowered down BO as to ascertain the state of tbo shaft. An exami- nation showed that a considerable portion of the slides was destroyed, and that descent was very precarious on account of the < stones and timber projecting into the Bhaft. The work of repairing the shaft was carried on till Saturday night, when gas was found coming up the shaft. This put a atop to operations for several hours, and it was not till | Sunday morning was pretty far advanced that the repairing operations could be resumed. In the evening the new iron stone workings, which are about thirteen fathoms above the coal, were reached. These were at once entered, and an attempt made to get into the coal workings through the blind pit. The explorers in their course down the blind pit heard a rumbling noise as if another fall had occurred, and, as they almost immediately found the air current interrupted and the air apparently in a vitiated condition, they wisely desisted. A little further examination showed indications of further falls, and the explorers returned. The operations on Monday were entirely confined to clearing the. damaged shaft of No. 2 pit at Kilsyth. It has been found impossible to obtain access to the coal workings by means of the blind pit through the ironstone seam. After consultation with the engineers and Government inspector, it was resolved, as all hope of saving the lives of the men had been abandoned, that the better way would be tA repair the shaft, and get access to the pit in the ordinary way rather than risk the lives of men by trying paths which are full of foul air. On Monday night the shaft bad been repaired to within twenty fathoms of the bottom, and the wood which is being taken up is all charred and burnt. There are, however, fourteen fathoms of rubbish to raise from the bottom of the shaft before access to the workings can be obtained, and on account of the numerous falls that have occurred it is doubtful whether the workingB round the pit bottom may not be closed. Messrs. Baird have deputed two of their managers, along with one of the local clergymen, to give interim relief to the relatives of the sufferers. A meeting of the Burgh Commissioners har been held, and arrangements made for raising a general sub- scription on behalf of the btreaved.

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PARLIAMENTARY INTELUGENCE.

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