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THE EXPLOSION AT TONDU.

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THE EXPLOSION AT TONDU. LAST Friday there occurred at Park Slip Colliery, Tondu, one of those frightful acci- dents, which seem inseparable from the life of the underground worker, no matter what pre- cautions are taken to prevent them. Science,, prudence, and experience have utterly failed to, remove these dangers, and we question whether the dangers incident to a collier's life will ever be lessened by legislation or by new discoveries in science. As far as is known, no precaution that could possibly be taken was omitted, and the disaster cannot be laid to anyone's fault or remissness. It has been pointed out that these accidents generally occur in pits which are situated in somewhat isolated spots and the comparative absence of serious acci- dents in the Rhondda Valley and other places, where pits are in close proximity, seems to favour that supposition. It is said that the subterranean gas finds in that way many out- lets, and its force and danger are thereby weakened. Some have also argued that the recurrence of these accidents in pits where the safety lamp is used points to the fact that safety lamps are not really a protection, and that they only serve to postpone the danger and make it all the more overwhelming when it comes. That the safety lamp is not yet perfect, is true but that it is useless, we cannot bring ourselves to believe. These disasters illustrate the dangers of the miner's occupation, and give to a prosaic occupation an element of danger which saddens and ennobles it. They make one understand and appreciate better the pathos that underlies the careless gaiaty and often the reckless life of the collier. They lift, for the moment at least, many a. commonplace workman into the position of a. hero, and they draw out from ordinary men those qualities of courage, daring, endurance z, and self-sacrifice which, otherwise applied, have made and unmade empires. What great con- queror ever showed more determination, courage, and capacity than Mr. Jonah Jones, or what hero ever displayed more en- durance or self sacrifice than that poor man whose efforts to save a child by carrying him to a safe place in the pit resulted in the paralysis of his right arm ? Incidents such as these show the noble qualities that lie too often dormant in our race, but which burst out in all their splendour when the adventitious circumstances and mean surroundings that have obscured them, have disappeared. It is in suffering that the true nature of man is seen, and the heroic conduct of the miners of Aberkenfig shows that we have still our village Hampdens among us. If legislation can do little or nothing to prevent these accidents, we can, at all events, do some- thing to alleviate the sufferings and to lessen the privations of those whom the accident has rendered defenceless. The Lord Mayor has opened a Mansion House Relief Fund, and there are also several local funds opened on be- half of the widows and children. We trust that by these means the sorrowing widows and bereaved families will be placed above the < reach of want. 4. WE ARE glad to see that Mr. Justice Jeune has recognised the necessity of appoint- ing gentlemen acquainted with the Welsh language to official posts in Waleg. The vacant <

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