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THE CEIM ERALELECTIOIM. ..

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, DEAD OR ALIVE?

I CHARING CROSS DISASTER,…

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I CHARING CROSS DISASTER, j l I RESULT OF THE INQUIRY. Sir Benjamin Baker, consulting engineer to the South-Eastern and Chatham Railway Com- pany, gave evidence on Monday, when the in- quiry was resumed by Mr. John Troutbeck into the disaster wh-ch Well six workmen at Charing Cross and the Avenue Theatre on December 5 by the fall of the roof of the railway station. A model of the roof of the station as it appeared before the collapse was placed near the jury- box. The first witness was the chief engineer, Mr. Percy Tempest, who said that since 1898 he had received no reports as to the condition of the roof, as there was nothing to report. The district engineer went up to the roof twice a year and examined it. Sir Benjamin Baker said he formed the opinion that the accident was due to the frac- ture of a tie-rod. For some reason the bar had broken with only one-third of its proper break- ing weight. When the broken portions were recovered it was apparent that in the centre of the welded bar there had never been metallic union. But for this flaw the roof would have been good for another twenty years. In reply to Mr. Pollock, K.C., who appeared for Messrs. Maple, by whom the decoration of the Avenue Theatre was being carried out, Sir Benjamin said it was providential that the breakage occurred when it did. It might have happened when the theatre and station were filled with people. Mr. George Ellson, a civil engineer, who said he found the roof in good condition in December. 1902, was asked by Mr. Boydell Houghton if he had at copy of the notes be made at the time. Mr. Bodkin said that if the witness had he should object to their production. Mr. Hough- ton knew perfectly well that on Saturday, at the instance of Mr. Cyril Maude, the railway company was served with a writ, and he de- clined to allow Mr. Ellson to be cross-examined for ulterior purposes in that action. He thought the coroner and jury would see that it was not a real attempt ta get at the truth of the matter. Thesoroneroocid.ed in favour of Mr. Houghton, and thfe witness undertook to produce the notes. Sir Wolfe Barry, C.E., w was principal assistant to Sir John Hawkshaw in the erection of the station roof, said that only a laboratory experiment could have revealed the fracture in the tie-rod. In the end. the jury returned a verdict of "Accidental death," adding that "the accident occurred through the breaking of a tie-rod through an unforeseen flaw," and that tbey at- tached no blame to any of the company's officials.

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[ SO LIKE DEATH.

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I ELECTION ADLKESbES.

! A NONAGENARIAN PEER. j

A HAT CAUSES A TRAGEDY. I…

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