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?n&TU SM TtMH? ? ?ST nEATH IN THE PIT I CAGE FALLS ON ANOTHERCAGE I ELYVALLEYDISASTERj Graphic Stories Told I Two cages fell into the sump a-t the Ely Colliery, Penygraig, yesterday morning. As reported in yesterday's Evening Express," the was caused by the winding machinery going wrong, with the result that the ascending- cage crashed into the sheaves and the descending cage, with its human freight, was pre-oipitated to the bottom. Smashing tbe sheavei, the upward cage broke the rope, and it then fell down The shaft, a distance of between 400 and SOG yards, on top of the cage below. The impact was terrific. Tho latter contained 24 men, five of whom wera instantaneously killed, and one, Thoma.s J ilorgan, died later from his injuries. The remainder, with lour other men at the pit bottom, were severely mauled, sustaining fractures of limbs and bruises. The experiences which the poor fellows underwent were something indescribable. The lights in their lamps had been extinguished, and a scene of the wildest commotion pre- vailed, and most of the unfortunate men t thought that they had met their doom. Doubt- less the commotion which prevailed not only added horror to the situation, but in the wildness of the moment probably many of the injuries were received, while the injuries of the others were greatly aggravated. The occupants of the cage had been ruth- lessly huddled together. One of them after- wards stated tha.t h3 was pinned underneath five or six others who had sustained broken arms and legs, and thus were in agony of pains and uaable to get off, and his efforts at extricating himself were of no avail Thus they remained in the pitchy darkness for a time which appeared to them to be ages, but really only a very short period elapsed, as there were, as is usual on these occasions, plenty of willing helpers, who were at all risks to themselves ready to render what assistance could be given to save their comrades from the perilous position in which they were placed I The Work of Rescue This was by no means an easy taek, and certainly was far from being free from danger. Tho empty cage in its downward flight had torn the lining of the shaft to Pieces, so there was no knowing the moment when the overhanging timbers, Ac., might fall and add to the list of fatalities. The Ininer, however, is noted for his bravery when occasion calls forth his heroism, and the present was no exception to the rule, and at risk of life and limb the men hurried without thought of their own safety to the assistance of the men who were in- volved in the wreckage. were, indeed, literiÛly imprisoned, and were absolutely unable to do anything for themselves. They were piteously moa-i- ing, as every little movement caused excru- ciating pairs to the poor fellows. It wae, indeed, as one of them put it, this that ill a way brought them to their senses, as they were-so stunned at first that they were tillable to realise what had happened. Piteous appeals were also made for water, and the scene was one which baffles descrip- tion. Under the circumstances, it is regarded ..y expKjrienced mining engineers at marvellous that the list of fatalities is comparatively so ehort, and there were some miraculous escapes. For example, one lad in the upper deck of the ill-fated cage, where practically every one of the others were victims to terrible injuries, including the five killed en the spot close by him, escaped ecath less- how, neither he nor anybody else can explain. The rescue work proved a rather slow pro- cess. The eage protection gates had firEt to lie opened by the hitcher. Had the not been previously secured ptrobably many of the men would have been thrown out, azid would have been exposed to the second fall- ing cage and other materials which came down in great quantities. Ae it was, how- ever, the work of extricating the men proved arduous and painful to a degree. Their Piteous cries are described as heartrending whenever an attempt was made at removing them. Those in the lower bond were caged I in by the walls of the trump, so that the only means of getting at them was by "flagging into tho sump. I injured Man Assists in First-Aid I While the number of injured men as ecordd on the pit-top, and whose names ire given below, number altogether 23, in addition to the fivb killed, the investigations of the management show that there were really only 24 in the cage altogether, and it is explained that the other four must have been injured on the surface, where portions of the smashed sheaves and other materials fiimply rained about the place. The ropes also, getting fouled, whirled about, causing a portion of the wall of the engine-house to fall. Great masses of debris, including portions of the sheaves, also fell down the shaft, and added to the danger of those below, as well as increasing the damage. The value of a knowledge of ambulance "Was exemplified in a particularly striking manner. A remarkable presence of mind was manifested by two of the victims—the brothers Davies. When light was procured, after a period of distraction and suspense which can be better imagined than described, one brother could see the bone protruding through his clothes. The brave fellow, who had a thorough knowledge of first-aid, after assisting in the bandaging of his brother's leg. actually superintended and assisted in binding up his own fractured limb. The unselfishness shown, too, was simply touch- ing. "You look after the others," was the characteristic pleading of one of the victims, "who himself was badly injured; "I can do all right, and I can wait." The damage done to the plant and shaft Mist be very consider able, and the mamage. tnent cannot as yet give any idea as to the !rea! extent, and, in fact, they will not be able to do so until some of the broken machinery I Vnd ropes and cages have been replaced, so Ls to make descent practicable. I Bringing Out the Bodies It was, of course, impossible for either the tninjured men in the workings or the im-q to be brought up to the bank by same shaft. This had to be done through ihe Pandy Pit, where thousands of men, Women, and children congregated in the early Part of the day to get tidings as to the fate cf those below, as it could not then be ascer- tained who tihe victims were. However, the pithead was deserted about midday, except by the workmen engaged in repairs. The Ely is one of the oldest collieries in the district, and ertgages about 820 men. Origin- ally it was worked by an independent oom- lJany, but was afterwards taken over by the Cambrian Oolliery Trust, when the big com- bine was brought about. At the Pa.ndy Pit, where the bodies of the lead, together with the injured men, were brought to bank, thousands of people lasembled from all parts of the valley. Good cider was kept by Inspector Hall and his ta-aa. A reverent silence prevailed as the dead men were carried to their homes by their com- rades, and it was a pathetic sight to witness women following their husbands as they Were carried home on stretchers. The suffer- ings of the injured were considerably relieved by the presence of ambulance men on the spot. List of the Killed I Morgan Evans, collier, Williamstown. Thomas Brown, Graigyreos, Penygraig. Alfred Watkins, oollier, Turberville-road, tenygraig. Bennie Atkins, collier boy, Penygraig. Gideon Chapman, Edmondst-own. Thomas John Morgan, Cornwall-street, Pcn- ygraig (died at the hospital). Injured I The following are those who were injured:- I Thomas Williams, Penygraig. Phil Pasooo, Penygraig. Thomas Davies, Penygraig. Daniel Davies and John Davies, Penygraig {brothers). William Thomas, Williamstown. David John Fry, Williamstown. Noah Matthews, Dinas. Andrew Thomas. Tonyrefail Thomas low-is, Penygraig. William Martin, Penygraig. David Davies, Penygraig. Joseph Latch am, Penygraig (married). John Fry, Tynycae (father of D. J. Fry). Thomas Morris, Penygraig. Thomas Morgan, Williamstown. John Jones, Penygraig. Willia,m Belmont, Penygraig. Robert Morgan, Tonypandy. Thomas Matthews, Trealaw. John Odgers, Penygraig. Solomon Lane, Penygraig. E. II. Coles. Williamstown. Cause of the Accident I Mr Fred. A. Gray (chief inspector of mineEC and Mr. F. J. Trump (assistant inspeottw) Were also present, who had a consultation vrith the officials. Mi-. Gray said he preferred twt to give an official report as to the eanse Df the acoidiMit. It transpires, however, that ) the actual cause was the toeaSrfng of the Epannier bar of the reversing gear. Mr T. Price, the assistanit general toanagter, said that the immediate cause of the accident usaa overwin*nr_ fait-jrlurtj was the originating cause it was too soon to say. He wanted to make it explicit that 24 men were involved in the mishap, as far as tho occupants of the cage were concerned. The other four men who had been injnred must have had thoir injuries through splinters or some debris falling upon them on the surface when the empty cage struck the Eheaves. Not Expected to Live Drs. P. R. Llewellyn, JoTie2 Alfred Jones, and Weichart descended the pit and attended the injured men. Dr. Llawellyn stated that four of the men who were sent to hospital were suffering from compound frac- tures, while amputations would be necessary in fonr or five cases. The mast, seriously in- jured is Harry Marshall, who sustained a fracture of the of the skull, and he is not expected to recover. All the occupants of the cage suffered injury either in the form of bruising or fchoek, but seven or eight oases are more serious. SURVIVORS' STORiES. I Empty Cage's Crash Upon Injured Men The men who escaped rela.te their terrible experiences in the darkness. Daniel Davies, in an interview, said the scene was one beyond description. First of all came the big thump down to the bottom, and they were already rendered quite dis- tracted, when they vere horrified by the empty cage crashing through with tremen- dous force oa top of the one in which they we. -e imprisoned, and their being in total darkness added to the terrible experiences of all concerned. When ultimately light was brought to the cage, about tte first thing he saw was a bone protruding from the thigh of his brother, David Davies. "You ooukl see the naked bone," he said, "right through his trousers." So injured were they all that any movement on the part of anybody or anything caused the whole of them to groan piteously. Something Horrible" Phil Pa seee, who. perhaps, was the least injured of the lot, was equally graphic in his account of what occurred. Fortunately, he had only a slight shock, and was the first to give sue-c-our to his comrades. But the heartrending screams," he said, were some- thing horrible. We were then a-t the bottom of the pit, and ou:" cage had passed through some of the timbering, which prevented us being hurled down the samp. At last the hitcher came, and I was able to hand out, man after man, and the experience was one I shall never forget." Men Screamed with Pain I Thomas D. Thomas, a collier, of 34, Peny- .'iff-roau, who was in the cage descending to work, said the .fust mtimaMou he had of anything behg wrong was a jerkjn of the ce. For a few "Eoonds it swung about, and then went down like a stone to the bottom I of the shaft. "We did not know exactly what had happened, but thought the sides of the shaft were falling in suddenly, and with a rush the empty bond was taken to the top, then came down with a crash, and was smashed to atoms. It was positively miracu- lous that any of ii-S escaped with our lives. The horror of being in the pitchy dark- ness was awe inspiring. I thought my end had come, and being a widower, my first thought was for the four children depending upon me, the oldest being not yet fourteen. Lights were loudly called for, but could not be obtained for the moment. owing to the danger of an explosion. When they were procured a terrible spectacle presented itself. Men were scattered a-Jcut in all directions, some being in such agony that they screamed with pain when touched. Thev injured called despair- ingly for water, and the whole scene was something heartrending. There were plenty of men in the workings, who, at great risk to themselves, commenced the work of rescue. Dr. Llewellyn, with a rescue party, was soon on the spot, with ambulanco and medical appliances, having descended by the shaft of the Pandy Pit. It will be some time," con- cluded Mr. Thomas, "before I can return to work. My back is bad, my hand and foot crushed, and the shock has quite unnerved me. Five Men on Top of Him William Fry, who, with his son, David John Fry, was in the cage, when interviewed in the afternoon as he lay in bed said:—"It came all so sudden. We went down like a stone. It was all over in a, moment. We were huddled up together, and there were five men on top of me with broken bones and all sorts of injuries. I tried my best to extricate my- self, but could not do 00. It wa-s pitch dqxli, and our senses were really knocked out of us. so that I doubt very much if any of us can give an authentic account of what did occur. It was the groaning and shouting of the men in the two decks that ma-de us first realise the nature of the catastrophe of which we were the victims. It was, I think, through being under the other men that I g-ot my injuries, and I had to stay in this position for so long a time that I was numbed and helpless by the time I was taken out. OFFICIAL REPORT Cage Smashed to Atoms Mr Trevor Price, the assistant general manager of the Cambrian Combine, supplied the fa llowing official report of the accident to the press:- t, ?, The acodent happened about 5.45 this (Friday) morning, when the men, in the usual course of things, were descending the mine All of a sudden the ascending cage, when within a length to the top, was seen suddenly to fly upward at a rapid rate, with the result that the ascending cage came into contact with the sheaves on top of the head- gear, causing one of the sheaves to be broken to pieces, and at the same time snapping the winding rope a little above the cap. The result was that the empty cage fell with tremendous force through the mouth of the pit down into the shaft. Simultaneously the men who were descending on the other side felt an unusual jerk. The cage dropped a little faster, when it suddenly came in con- tact with the landing beam. This first jerk seems to have caused a great deal of alarm, which, probably, accounted for a good many injuries. But what really did the great da,mage was the empty carriage falling from the top coming into contact with the side of the carriage containing the men at the pit bottom. Alter the accident it was discovered that five out of the twelve men on the top deck of the carriage had been killed, whilst among them was a little boy, who walked out unhurt. The twelve on .the bottom deck, although more or less badly hurt, escaped fatal injury. The damage has been considerable, both on the surface and underground. Some of the stays of the head-gear have been broken away, two of the guide ropes and one wind- ing rope are broken, and-two cages are so damaged that they will be unfit for use again, the empty one being smashed to atoms. We cannot say what the damage is in the pit itself, because we have been unable to descend the shaft to make a proper exami- nation, owing to the guide ropefi and sheaves being broken. We cannot make a proper examination for a go-od many hours, until there have been re-placed. Every one of the hitehers and the men happening to be at the pit bottom rendered valuable assistance in getting the men out of their perilous position. The pit having been literally torn and everything hanging out, no one knew at what moment some timber or beams might fall and strike them. Every- body who took part in the rescue work is to I be highly commended. His Majesty's Inspector F. A. Gray and Assistant-inspector F. J. Trump exa?m i ?? both surface and underground. It is difficult to ascertain the exact cause of the accident, it being up to the present somewhat inexplicable." Amputations at Porth Hospital Four of the more seriously injured, Thomas John Morgan (since dead). John Davies, Thomas Morris, and William Thomas, were taken to the Porth Cottage Hospital. Drs. Llewelyn and J. Naunt.on Morgan had to per- form amputations on three of the unfor- tunate men. Morgan had his arm arnpii- taken off at the knee, and Morris's leg was taken o. at the knee, and Morris's leg was also amputated. Thomas suffered from com- pound fractures of both legs, and an opera- tion of wiring the bones was performed in his case. Joint Inquest I A joint inquiry will be conducted into the accident by Mr. R. J. Rhys and Mr. PD. Rees, coroners, as the bodies of victims lie in their respective districts. Message from Home Secretary I Mr. F. A. Gray. Chief Inspector of Mines for Cardiff District, received the following telegram from the Semetary of State:— Secretary of State learns with great reg-rot of the accident at the Naval Colliery, Per.ygraig. Please cend full particulars to Under-Secretary of State, Home Office. In the HosPital I Inquiries at Porth Cottage Hospital this morning show that the three men, William Thomas, John Davies, and Thomas Morgan, w(ho were taken there for the purposes of operation yesterday, are progressing as well as can be expected. The Inquest I The inquest has been fixed to open at 2.15 on Monday1 afternoon at Xiaaareth Ohapol Vestry, Williamstow-n. Only formal evidence will be ,,k, and the inquiry will be ad- journed to a convenient date for the purpose of making full iirvcstd-gatious.



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