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FIREDAMP FLASH.

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FIREDAMP FLASH. Explosion at Onllwyn. FOUR MEN BADLY BURNT. Early on Monday morning a severe explo- sion oi firedamp occurred at the Dulais C,olliery, Oollwya, near Neath, and caused severe injury to four men- The pit, which is a new one, employing about 200 men, is owned- by Messrs Richard Hodgens and Co.. of Swansea. At about 4 a.m a party of; repairers, num- bering about a dozen, was going round with the fireman, who had found an accumulation of gas. They were engaged in erecting brattice barriers to disperse the gas when there came. a sudden flash of fire. Most of the men escaped with little or no injury, and the fireman was unscathed. The four less fortunate workmen were Walter Herbert (29). lodging at Neath. Wm. Morris (27), of Seven Sisters. Patrick Morris (48), father of the above. Henry Birch (56), of Seven Sisters. All bad severe burns about the face. arms, and legs, the elder Morris being the most seriously hurt of the four. The forte of the ex- plosion was nob great, and did not extend beyond the section where t.be y were engaged. No damage was done to the colliery. First aid was rendered by Drs. Edwards and Armstrong, Seven Sisters, every possible com- fort being provided for the sufferers, who were placed in a brake and. accompanied by fellow-workmen, were conveyed to Swansea Hospital. Last night they were reported to be making satisfactory progress. Another work- man named William James received slight burns. but not serious enough to warrant his removal to the hospital- Walter Herbert, who is a stranger to the village. descended the colliery for the first time on Sunday evening, it being his first workday there. The occurrence created considerable alarm in the district, which is scattered between Seven Sisters and Colbren, where a rumour was circulated that miners had been killed. The probable cause of the explosion is a sudden accumulation of gas after Saturday and Sunday's cessation of work. Mr Richard Hodgens informed our Swansea representative that the accident was due to firedamp. In an interview Mr Jones, the manager, said that, so far, the cause of the ignition of the gas was quite a mystery. He was, however, going to make a. thorough investigation. This was the first serious accident that had ever taken place there.

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