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The Fatality at Fishguard…

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The Fatality at Fishguard Harbour Works. PATHETIC SCENE AT THE INQUEST. J KEEN JUKYMEN. Considerable interest—sympathetic anxious and, in part, morbid—was aroused, on Thurs- day last in the vicinity of the Market-bouse wherein Jay the remains of the Pier-worker J. Jm Lloyd, of Cwmyreglwys. who die 1 on MonJay last from injuries received whilst following his employment as a labourer. Struck down by a huge stone soon after four o'clock, he was bandaged and gently borne over the Parrog to the surgery of Dr J M Owen, operated upon and before eight o'clock his lifeless remains were lying under co\er of the market there to await the Coroner's in- questation as to how the unfortunate fellow met bis death. The circumstances were such as to fill the entire district with the gravest concern for the widow and six little children, .rendered fatherless at one full swoop. As a nation the Cymryare noted for that touching, spantaneous outpouring of sincere pity to- wards their bereaved it is one of the fore- most characteristics of their nature and will doubtless endure to the end of time. Love -for the generous dead is as strong within the Welsh as the instinctive desire for life. Why —the question was asked, times out of num- ber—was the lifleless form allowed to remain so long at the Market-house, why is he not taken home to Dinas ? The query was very natural, but easily explained. In the first place the cottage that .shelters the sorrowing widow and children is situated in that pretty spot known in English as church valley where the devoted, ir-du&trious husband speut the few hours of repose which divided Satuiday evening from Monday. The place is remote and iuaccessable and the little home incommo- dious enough for the family so that, iu view of the inquest which was expected to take place on Thursday, it was deemed advisable to leave the body at Fishguard. Mr Ray- mond Carpmael, the chief assistant-engineer at the Harbour works, in the absence of his chief, had au elegant oak coffin made on the works and in which the body was placed to await the inquiry.— Mr Owen R. James car- ried out the tuneral arrangements on behalf of the Company. 0 There were many lingering in the vicinity of the Square anxious to witness the pro- ceedings early on Thursday morning, and when the court opened some scores followed the Coroner and jurymen up the stone stairs leading to the couit-room. PS. Rosser ably acted as the Curuner's officer and em- panelled the jury as follows: Messrs W S Jenkins (foreman), Capt T Evans, Capt Acraman, Capt Symmons, Messrs VV Rowe, L Evans, D Roberts. D T Davies, J Griffiths, George Williams, D R Reynolds, J R Davies, and John Evans. Mr Ivor Evans, county coroner, adminis- tered the oath to the jury.—Mr J T Robson, H.M.'s Inspector of mines and quarries, Swansea, was present in his official capacity Mr Raymond Carpmael, represented the Fisbguard and Russlare Harbour Works and W J Vaughau was briefed on behalf of the widow of the deceased, Mrs Racheal Lloyd. The jury had just viewed the remains when the widow, father and mother and other near relatives of the deceased entered the hall. For some minutes the scene was pain- fully pathetic. The aged mother, as toon as the cover was removed rushed to the bier and passionately kissed the face of her sleeping son whilst the widow sat completely overcome with emotion and totally unable to give evidence of identification. THE EVIDENCE. On behalf of Mrs Lloyd, Mr Dewi Harries, Dinas, identified the body as that of John Lloyd, labourer, of Cwmreglwys, who was 42 years of age. Witness knew nothing of the accident. Mr Evans then endorsed the order for the removal of the remains, and the grief- stricken mourners were assisted out. Patrick Blake, Duffryn, Goodwick, a crane driver on the Pier works, replying to the Coroner, said he knew the deceased, who was injured on Monday evening, the 20th inst., at 4.30, whilst standing by a skip which was attached to the crane that witness drove on the Fishguard Harbour Works. The stuff was being loaded in wagons and taken to the breakwater. Deceased was not doing any- thing at the time the. jib of the crane came round carrying a stone in a chain sling. The stone slipped out of the sling and fell on to the man who was knocked senseless at once. They took the stone off him and the Ambulance men came along with a stretcher and took him away. Michael Flynn fixed the stone into the sling and he (witness) worked the crane round. He saw the stone slipping out and he gave warning. Deceased did not attempt to get out of the way although he had plenty of time to do so after he received warning. Witness did not know whether deceased understood English or not; but he called out, "stand clear! Lloyd, who had been working at the same job four or five months, made no move. Stones did not slip out very often, but some- times. Mr Robson Did you raise the stone straight away without first balancing it ?—Yes, sir. Mr Robson Did it drag at ail ?—No, sir. Mr Robson It was pretty plumb ?—Yes. Mr Robson: Was the sling adjusted without the stone first being lifted?—Witness: It was lifted and carried straight away. The height would be about twelve feet from which the stone fell. Mr W. J. Vaughan: Was the crane in motion at the time of the accident ?—Yes, sir. Mr Vaughan; There was a big noise on the works but he spoke loud enough for witness to hear. Is that so ?—Yes. By Mr Robson There was a fair amount of noise owing to the drilling machines working on the other side.—Coroner; How far were the machines away ?—About six or seven yards. Coroner: When you are working the crane round do the men usually stand around ?— Lloyd was not standing in his proper place at the time. His skip was full and he was stand- ing by it. Mr Robson: It is the duty of the men to wait for the swing of the crane. By the Coroner Lloyd did not move at all from the slop. Coroner I suppose your attention was not particularly called to Lloyd before the accident. Witness Not more than to any other of the men but he saw him standing there before the stone came round to him. Witness could not estimate how long the stone took to slip from the sling. He judged the stone to be about a ton weight. Mr Robson Was it an easy stone to sling was it tapered at all ? Witness: No, sir; it was round, but not a very good stone to sling. Foreman: Was the man standing where he ought not to stand at the time of the accident ? Witness: They usually walked back a little when they were slinging. Coroner; They're supposed to do that. By the Foreman; —Lloyd stood sideways to the stone. Foreman How long was the stone in slipping* Witness: About half a second; I saw it slipping, but it gave no warning. He could not say whether it fell on deceased's head at all. It fell at once. Mr L. Evans: Was it Lloyd's duty to hook the skip he was filling to the sling?—No, sir. Mr Rowe: How long have you been crane driving? Witness Eight or nine months. He learnt the work since he came to the works. It was swung before going round. The slinger sees that the stone is fixed properly in the sling. Witness was not responsible for that. Mr Reynolds The chain did'nt break at all ? —No. Capt Symmons asked if the stone was lifted right under the jib or had it to be pulled out of the heap. Witness said it was under the jib. "Then," asked the Capt., "how is it that it did not foul the skip by which Lloyd was standing?" Witness replied that the stone was just in front of the skip. The Capt. proceeded to ask if the chain was under the stone, and if they ever used a double sling, when Mr Carpmael intorposed that the slinger would answer those questions. Capt Symmonds: I want to know whether the stone was inside or outside the skips, and whether was lifted perpendicularly or dragged. To the Coroner's question witness replied that the stone was about three feet from the skips. Coroner It was a very small distance he should have had plenty of time to get away. Witness did not know if the deceased saw them sling the stone, but he ought to have seen it from where he stood. Capt Symmonds: There are bonuses given every month to these crane men who do the most ?—Witness Yes.—Capt Symmonds That is all right. Capt Acraman You were evidently slinging stone over the heads of the men while they're filling the skips. Witness We sling them over their heads it they don't get out of the way (laughter). Foreman You give warning every time?— Yes, they called out "stand clear! but he did not know if deceased knew the warning was meant for him. Mr Carpmael said he had nothing to ask at that stage. sr.] NEVIDENCE. Michael Flynn, of 4 Duffryn Cottages, Goodwick, said he was engaged as hooker-on on slinger at the Pier Works. He remembered attaching the sling to the stone-a partly round one-to the jib. He did not notice the deceased because there were several skips between deceased and himself, Lloyd was working at the farthest skip he did not notice the stone slip it did not drag at all it actually went up straight, then when it had risen ten or twelve feet the crane slewed round. He thought it was quite safe. First of all he told the men to mind themselves. Lloyd was near enough to have seen it, and witness gave notice that the stone was going up. Before the stone began to move at all he told them. There were seven fillers besides John Lloyd, whom he never heard speak in English. All the men were warned as a group and he did not pay any particular attention to Lloyd any more than to the others. It was not his habit to watch the stone go up, and did not see it falling. By Mr Vaughan Witness did not see Lloyd move after the stone was slung. Mr Vaughan said his point was that deceased could not have heard the warning. Witness I told them all before I com- menced slinging. He did not see Lloyd move after the stone was placed in the sling. Replying to Mr Vaughan witness said he shouted as each stone was being slung. Coroner Lloyd concluded he was at a safe distance ? No answer. Witness shouted so that everyone could hear. He did not receive the bonus. Foreman How do you know the stone is fast. Witness We sling the stone as safely as we can sometimes the stone slips some- times the chain breaks. Replying to Capt Acraman, witness said it was an ordinary single chain sling. Capt Symmons You say it was a difficult stone to sling why did'nt you put two slings round it ? Witness As a rule, we don't use two slings whether it is dangerous or not. Capt Syrnrnons Are not these bonuses divided between the crane men and the slinger. Witness was understood to reply in the atllr. mative. Mr Carpmael said only the first and second cranes received bonuses then they divided them. Replying to Mr Vaughan, witness said he had been slinging for about nine months and he had known deceased most of the time he had worked on the works. Deceased was always very attentive to his work. In reply to Mr Carpmael, witness said there were four skips with the crane. Lloyd's mate was not present at the time of the accident. Witness was getting away the big stones to make room for the other skips. The stone was right at the bottom of the heap before they slung it up. SAW THE ACCIDENT—TOO LATE. Thomas Phillips, living at Llanwnda, said he was engaged in the wagons releasing the chains and skips. He saw the accident to the deceased. First he saw the stone rising and then the jib going round towards John Lloyd. At first he could not see which way, but after- wards saw it go in the direction of Lloyd. I said, "look out John Lloyd." Deceased was then in front of the skip with his back towards the crane. Witness saw the stone in the act of slipping and called out to deceased the uiomeijt before. Lloyd did not move at all it was too late the stone came down at once on deceased's foot. Witness did not hear Michael Flynn call out because witness was on the other side of the crane, but he heard the crane man call out. Witness here exclaimed minutely how the deceased was struck—John Lloyd had one foot resting on a stone which was inside the skip then he fell on his back and the stone rolled over him. Coroner Could deceased not have seen the stone go up. Witness No, sir. John Lloyd was stand- ijig in his proper place before the jib came round. By Mr Vaughan Witness had been on the works seven months Lloyd had worked with him for three months. Deceased had no time to get out of the way before the stone fell and he was always careful. ENGINEER'S EVIDENCE. At this stage the Coroner intimated that there was nothing that Mr Carpmael could say, he thought the evidence was clear enough but he could give evidence if he wished. After a few moments Mr Carpmael said he would like to add his testimony. He was ciiief-assistant-engineer-in charge in the absence of the chief (Mr G L Gibson). He explained that each crane had three or four skips placed in a row twenty to thirty feet apart. Two men were engaged filling at each skip. The crane in question had a radius of 34 feet from the centre. There were four skips and these were dropped in such places whero required and the slinger had to see that the crane was kept at work all the time either with stones or the skips. Witness was not present at the time the accident occurred, but was advised at once by telephone he was present at the operation and death. In answer to the Coroner witness stated that the strictest orders had been given to gangers to see that the men were clear of the crane before the cranes slued, and the men were warned to keep clear. Each crane had a plate attached warning the men to beware of the cranc slueing. Coroner Do they rarely read the notices ? They are there and we cannot rope them to the notices. They are six inch letters. There was nothing against deceased, perhaps a bit slow. In expressing his opinion Mr Carpmael said he had been in crane and engin- eering works seven years and he found that it a man was killed one day the workmen were Just as careless as ever two days later. MEDICAL EVIDENCE. Mr Tlios. Morgan, M.R.C.S., L.U.C.P., assistant to Dr J. Morgan Owen, said he lived at Goodwick, and was informed that a serious accident had happened on the Works. He went immediately and afterwards directed the mall s removal to the surgery at Fishguard, and he was present when deceased was brought in. The man was conscious. On examination lie found the left foot had been amputated. The Coroner Cut oil ? Dr Morgan: It was clean enough to have been amputated surgically. Deceased had a wound over the left eye about two inches long which penetrated right inside the skull, he also had a wound on the right side of the head about li inches long, and which seemed to have bled freely he was suffering very much from shock, and was practically pulseless during the whole of the time in the surgery. Dr O'Donnell, another practitioner of the works, came to the surgery and trimmed the leg while witness administered the anesthetic. They tried to do the best for the patient that was possible, but he died in about half'an-hour after his arrival at the surgery from shock, due to internal injuries. Deceased had made no complaint. The Coroner, addressing the jury, said they had heard the facts, as to what really hap- pened, from beginning to end. He drew at- tention to the fact that when men were em- ployed on dangerous work they get so accus- tomed to it that they perceived no danger and so became careless. There seemed to be no blame attached to anyone in this case. It was purely and simply accidental. Mr Reynolds One witness said that deceas- ed had his back to the crane and the driver said he was sideways; which is correct? Coroner: If you had the evidence of the eight men under such circumstances every one's version would be different, due to the excitement that must have taken place. Mr Reynolds: One witness said he didn't know which way the crane was coming round. I don't think the man had a chance to save his own life I cannot come to any other conclusion. The Coroner observed that all the circum- stances required consideration. The man who said he did not know which way the jib of the crane would travel was on the wagon. Capt Evans: We are told that stones are slung with only one sling would it not be better to use a double sling to unshapely stones ? Life is very dear. Mr Geo Williams thought it should be added as a recommendation that two slings be used. Mr Carpmael: It is all very well to offer suggestions as to slinging stones with two chains, but I should like some of you to try it. I have been on engineering works abroad and at home and have some idea of the impractic- ability of the suggestion. Capt T. Evans: Possibly I have slung more materials than anyone present to-day I have had to sling things for forty-four yoars and never killed a man by means of slinging accidents in my life. Mr Carpmael You cannot do better than use a single chain. Capt Evans Can't I; I will put one on for you just to show you how it can be done. Capt Symmonds You don't want an engin- eer to sling a stone. Mr Carpmael (warmly) That is why we have slingers.—There was considerable discussion at this juncture, Mr Rowe remarking that the direct cause of the accident had not been explained. Coroner Because the chain was placed in such a position ai to slip off. Capt Evans here interposed that he had seen guns 80 tons in weight slung with safety. Mr Carpmael: You cannot compare such things with slinging stones of the kind we have at the Works. After this the court was cleared fot the jury to consult in private. Ten minutes later the court again assembled and the Foreman handed in a written verdict which the Coroner perused. It was to the effect that they found that John Lloyd was accidentally killed by a stone slipping from the chain sling of the crane, and which they considered was not properly placed. The Coroner: Assuming the deceased was in his proper position at the time this would be tantamount to a verdict of manslaughter against the slinger. The fact that the stone slipped shows that the sling was not properly adjusted. Do you intend your verdict to convey that purport ? The Foreman said it was not meant to im- plicate the slinger, but in order that more care should be used. There was another recommendation: We also wish to say that in our opinion the Fish- guard and Rosslare Harbour Company should provide a place or room at Good wick where serious accidents could be treated temporarily until the person be in a condition for removal to his home or infirmary." Mr Carpmael undertook to place the recom- mendation before the proper authority. The Foreman, at the suggestion of the Coroner, altered the wording of the verdict to the following That the said John Lloyd, on Monday, the 20th inst, at 4-110 p.m., while engaged on the Fishguard and Rosslare Harbour Works at Goodwick, was injured acci- dentally by a stone, slipping from the sling of a crane, falling upon him and who died from his injuries." Mr Reynolds The verdict has been altered now; according to what I have heard here to-day I am surprised the men save so well. This inquiry is only a farce unless we are going to have some reality about it, and give effect to our opinion. Capt Acraman asked if a rider could not be added to the effect that the Harbour Company see that in future the men carry out the orders. The Coroner said that would have to go to the Company throgh Mr Carpmael, who ex- pressed his readiness to convey the recommen- dation. Eventually, the amended verdict of "Accidental Death" was returned. The jury returned their fees of Is Gd each to the widow. The sum was handed to Mr W. J. Vaughan, who intimatad he would send the money direct to Mrs Lloyd. MISFORTUNE COMES NOT SINGLY. Writes one of the spectators at the inquest The kindly apt of the jury in handing over their fees is worthy the name of Cymry, and the twelve good men and true may feel convinced that the case is deserving of their consideration, and that the generous aid meets with the gratitude and appreciation of the distressed widow, Mrs Lloyd. Permit me to recount a little meeting I experienced on Satuiday last, which adds still more sadness to the unfortunate accident at the Works. I was on my business way to Cwmyr- eghvys when I overtook a man who seemed not more than thirty-five years of age. He was struggling on crutches down the rather rough road to Cwmyreglwys. I passed the time o' day, remarking that the road was an awkward one for anybody with only one leg and a pair of crutches to travel upon. I he cripple replied, "I am just going to see how the widow, my sister-in-law is to-day, I live on Newport mountain." Dear nie, thought I, here is a relative of the unfortunate man, John Lloyd. I'1 reply to my queries as to his relationship with John Lloyd lie said, Yes, yes, I tiii Wm Lloyd, and John Lloyd was my only brother. I met with an injury to my knee a little mote thin a year ago, whilst discharging coal at Panvg, Newport. In broken English, strengthened at periods with Welsh, he went on to say that he worked for some months after his injury, and then complications ensued, and he ultimately, about three months ago, entered the Haverfordwest infirmary and had his ieg amputa- ted near the knee. I gathered that his wife and four young children, who were dependent upon him, were now in receipt of assistance from the common fund. From the foregoing it will be seen that the brothers, had John Lloyd lived, would have been in the painful position of cripples, with the responsibility of having to bring up large families. Most deplorable cases tlip-se- cases that call for that chaiity that droppeth as the gentle dew from Heaven. Here was the maimed brother in distress on an errand of sym- pathy. Truly, Fellow feeling makes us won- drous kind," and the incident of the meeting, at the humble cottage near the ancient ruins of St l>rynach's Church, iu the picturesque valley, on Saturday last, was one of touchiug pathos. Rail- Way coil) enjoy a good reputation for mak- ing provision for those who are left helpless by the death of their employees, and 1 doubt not that the 1( ishguard and Rosslare Company will act-generously towards the widow and six orphan children oi John Lloyd. There is a case recorded only last week of a Liveipool widow of a railway servant, who died a natural death, being employ- ed on the regular staff of the Company. The case of John Lloyd is not exactly similar, as the latter was employed on constructive works, apart from the railway staff. However, I learn that enquiries, are being made, by the oflicials of the Pier Works into the widow's circumstances, so that, with the assistance of a charitable community, coupled with that of the Company's provision, will be forthcoming for their sustenance. In the case of Wm. Lloyd, the kind-hearted public can do much towards keeping the wolf from the door. I trust that the object of this note may have the desired effect of arousing sympathy with the two families now in their hour of need. It is charity only that maketh riches worth the owuing.

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