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i LONDON LETTER. I

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HARRY SEYMOUR; OR Incidents…

-THE FATAL ACCIDENT IN THE…

THE CIRCUMLOCUTION OFFICE…

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YANKEE YARNS.

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iFACTS AND FANCIES.

CLERICAL SCANDAL IN RADNORSHIRE.

COLLIERY EXPLOSIONS AND THE…

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COLLIERY EXPLOSIONS AND THE WEATHER OF 1884. At last, after thirty-three years, the heavy record of explosions showsa very appreciable reduction in tho number of persons killed. Since 1850, when the management of collieries became subject to Government supervision and inspection, the number of explosions has steadily decreased from an average of 91 per annum, for the four years ending 1854, to less than 30 per annum for the four years ending 1384. The loss of life, how- ever, to the end of1883 was rather on the increase, for in the thirteen years ending with 1863 the number of deaths averaged 224 againgst 242 for the similar period ending with 1883. Of course relatively to the number of ,o persons employed and the quantity of coal raised the deaths show a decrease. Still the period now under review proves that, in spite of the continued failure in previous years, it is possible to have a very considerable diminution in the absolute num- ber of deaths, which had ranged from 94 in 1864, and 95 in each of the years 1859 and 1876, to 499 in 1880, 586 in 1878, and 651 in 1866, the deaths from 1851 to 1883 reaching the truly appalling total of 7,850. It is therefore most gratifying to record so exceptionally low a total as 48 for the year 1884. The number of explosions was 20, the following 11 being the fatal ones: —Januard 2nd, Walsall, 1 killed llth, Wrex- ham, 2; 27th, Penygraig, 12 March 28, Rowley Regis, 1; April 2, Bndgwid, 2; May 14, Silverdale, 1; July 22, Mostyn, 1; 23, West Bromwich, 3; September 6, Hale End, 11 seri- ously injured, seven of whom died in the following fortnight; November 8, Pochin, Tredegar, 14; December 18, Pwllcarn, Glamorgan, 3. To these may be added the loss of three gallant rescuers at Penygraig, and one case of suffocation at Wigan, August 6, thus raising the loss of life to 51. It will be noticed that Wales contributed six explo- sions, causing 57 deaths. Thirty-one warnings were issued during the year, and of this number thirteen were justified by seventeen explosions. Classifying the accidents according to the atmospheric conditions accom panying them, it is found that 15 causing deaths occurred with a high or rising barometer; 2, with nine deaths, when it was low or falling and 4, with four deaths, appear to be connected rather with a high temperature than with the slight changes of pressure at the time. Comparing this classification with those of previous years, we had in 1882 23 with a high or rising barometer, and 7 with a low or falling temperature, against 18 and 3 respectively in 1883. It will be seen from these figures (which are contrary to the belief which has prevailed hitherto) thjft colliery explosions very rarely occur wheflf' the barometer is actually falling; although in saying this it must not be supposed that no connection exists between a decrease of atmospheric pressure, and an explosion which may take place on the succeeding increase. The important lesson which the figures teach us is the absolute necessity for special exertions to be made to discover gas accumulations during the period of increasing pressure, as well as taking precautions against escapes when a fall of the barometer is setting in. We have stro. evidence that explosions in foreign coal- fields take place under identically similar conditions to those noted in Great Britain. As only serious disasters are announced from abroad, we hear nothing of the minor ones but we may safely conclude that, as at home, these latter contribute largely to the total luss of life. However, in 1884, intelligence from Ame- rica gave six explosions with 281 deaths, and from the European Continent six others with 141 lives lost. Of the 33 accidents at home and abroad it is interesting to know that the official records as to the atmospheric pressure at the time of the chief explosions, at home and abroad, bear out the theory as to the comparative infrequency of such occurrences at a time when the barometer is actually falling. Snch are the simple facts connected with the terrible catastrophes which so often visit the mining villages, and cause untold sorrow and anguish in hundreds of families. It is fervently to be hoped that the encouraging report for 1884 will prove but the beginning of a long period of freedom from colliery explosions; but this can only take place by the combined preventive action of both officials and workmen.

DISPUTE AT THE NEATH AND MERTHYR…

- RUNAWAY NEWSPAPER REPORTERS.

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AFFILIATION ORDER AGAINST…

I SWANSEA FREE LIBRARY.'

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