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THE FALLING OF A HOUSE IN HOLBORN. On Monday afternoon Dr. Lankester opened an in- quiry at the Holborn workhouse into the circum- stances attending the deaths of Guiseppe Casartelli and Elizabeth Davis, who were killed on Thursday last by the falling of a house in Ely-eourt, Holborn. Mr. E. W. James, solicitor, Ely-place, and Mr. L. H. Isaacs, architect, Gray's-inn, represented Messrs. Ledger and Clarke, the lessees. Mr. L. Lewis, soli- citor, appeared on behalf of the friends of the woman Davis and Mr. Buxton, solicitor, was professionally engaged by Signor Guiseppe Guanzirolli, the employer of the deceased Casartelli. William Andrews said he had resided at No. 6, Ely- court, but at present he lived in No. 5, in the same court. He was the brother-in-law of Elizabeth Davis, who was 54 years of age. Gaiseppe Guanzirolli, of No. 106, Ilatton-garden, was produced for the purpose of identifying the body of Casartelli. The witness Andrews was re-examined, and stated that he saw no cracks or rotten beams in No. 6, Ely- court. He went to bed on Monday night at eleven o'clock. His son slept in the same room on the first floor. Mrs. Davis slept in the back room of the same floor. He had been sleeping three years in the room, and never imagined the house would have fallen down. He never knew that the walls were shored up in any way. When the house fell he heard a little noise, and nothing more. The walls fell in and out after the ceiling had come down, and wit- ness," put himself together" and prepared for death. He subsequently got out of bed, but he could not get his clothes, and was obliged to wait until the police came and helped him to get them. He rented the room of Messrs. Ledger and Clarke, and paid 3s. 9sL a week rent. He could not give any definite opinion as to the cause of the falling of the house. Had seen Mr. Ledger after the accident and had told him it was a bad job. He had not asked Mr. Ledger for anything. He was not aware that No. 5, Ely-court was unsound. He knew that No. 6 was an old house, but he did not know it had been propped. Signor Guanzirolli was again produced. He said his attention had been often called to the house. He told Mr. Clarke, one of the lessees, about 15 months ago, that he thought the house was most likely to fall down, and that somebody would be killed. He thought the house would fall because there was a rotten beam between the house in question and Mr. Benjamin's house next door. This strut" or beam. fell down. There were cracks in the walls, the gutter was bad, and there was an overflow which came into his (wit- ness's) premises. The gutters were repaired 16 months ago after he had spoken to the district surveyor. He had always thought the house would come down some day or other, and although he expressed his opinion on the subject in the presence of the surveyor's clerk, nothing was done. When the house fell he heard a fearful crash, and on going to his door he was nearly suffocated by the dust, a By Mr. Lewis He called the attention of Messrs. Ledger and Clarke to the house on several occasions, but they appeared to take no notice of what he said to them. Other persons in the neighbourhood also spoke about the unsafe condition of the house. He believed that, if a very small expenditure had been made in re- pairing the house the accident would not have occurred. There were several cracks in the walls. He had known the house 35 years, and had not seen £10 expended in its repair during that time. The inhabitants of the court were very poor, and could not afford to spend five shillings in repairs of any kind. The landlord did not seem to care about anything but his rent. John George Sheehy deposed he lived at present at 119, Cromer-street. He had lived at No. 6, Ely-court. He had felt a kind of shaking in the upper floors a week or ten days previous to the accident. He had lived eight months in the house, but had heard nothing in reference to its state.. Martha Small, who said she had lived at No. 6, Ely-court, stated she had no home at present. She was in the house when it fell, and thought it came in from ^Heiiry William Fox volunteered to give evidence. He said his wife took a room in November last at No. 6, Ely- court, and after they had been there a couple of weeks they heard a cracking noiae between the wainscot and the wall. There was a hole in the floor through which his wife fell, and was permanently dis- abled. Mrs. Davis fell through the same hole, and she previously said to his wife in his presence that if they did not got out of the house they would be all buried alive. The hole had been repaired, but not properly. Robert May, builder, of No. 24, Holyford-row, Vauxhall, was produced by Mr. James, and deposed to having removed an old gutter from and put a new gutter in No. 6, Ely-court. He said he saw nothing unsafe in the condition of the walls or roof of the house. He would not swear that there were not two cracks in the walls. Benjamin Bryant, Inspector of the S division of police, deposed to having gone to the scene of the accident about eight o'clock on the morning on which it occurred. It was said that moans had been heard, and from that time up to four o'clock 20 men were employed in removing the ruins of the house. The Rev. Dr. Worthington here observed that it appeared to him that the woman Davia could have been taken out alive. When he went to the scene of the accident he found only four men occupied in re- moving the rubbish, and they had only a very incon- siderable quantity stowed away. The woman re- mained among the ruins from seven until two. The men were working with the greatest possible slowness, and he had to give them money for drink to stimulate their exertions. He was of opinion that if sufficient energy had been used from seven until three, the woman would have been removed alive. Five or six efficient labourers could have done the work properly. He did not blame Inspector Bryant, who, he believed, had acted admirably on the occasion, but he thought life should have been risked for life in a bolder manner than appeared to have been the case at the accident. The coroner said that if the jury thought any further evidence was necessary he would adjourn the inquiry, and they could in the meantime examine the premises themselves to see if any one was to blame for the fall- ing of the house. There was no possibility of their returning a verdict of manslaughter, but they could ascertain whether Messrs. Ledger and Clarke had been guilty of neglect. The jury, through their foreman, expressed a wish to retire; and after a short deliberation they returned with their verdict, which was to the effect that the deaths of the deceased persons arose from accidental causes. The jury added that "there was a want of proper attention on the part of the landlords of the house No. 6, Ely-court, Messrs. Ledger and. Clarke, in not replacing a beam or strut which had fallen down sixteen months ago, and which had evidently supported the walls of the said house. The proceedings then terminated. A public meeting, convened by the R9V. J. W. Laughlin, rector of St. Peter's, Saffron-hili, and Mr. Alfred Barough and Mr. H. W. Cottrell, church- wardens, was held in the evening, in the Infants' School-room, beneath St. Peter s Church, to take into consideration the best means to aid the sufferers by the fallinc of the house, No. 6, Ely-court, Holbora. A large number of the parishioners and others attended, and subscriptions amounting to over X12 were re-. ceived. Tke total estimated losa of the poor people is £4.8.








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