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Intermediate Managers.,

Are Laymen Spongers ?




I GLYNEA FATALITY. INQUEST ON THE BODY. The inquest on the body of John Jones, Cwmfelin, who died on May 29th, as the re- sult of injuries sustained at the Glynea Col- liery, was resumed by Mr J. W. Nicholas on Saturday at Cwmfelin. Mr. White, H. M. Inspector of Mines, atten- ded: Mr. Evan Davies, Cardiff, represented the company; and Mr. Saunders (of the firm of M essrs. Randell, Saunders, and Rand ell) appeared on behalf of the relatives of the de- ceased. Samuel Jones, Pancklery, stated that the I deceased, who was a collier, was ,employed at J the Glynea Colliery, where he (witness) also ) worked. Witness met him at 6.30 on May 29 at the bottom of the pit. They walked to- gether to the lamp station, and there saw David Williams, the fireman, who informed them that everything was alright. They then proceeded to their working place, and before commencing to work they both tested the roof with a. mandrel. This would be about 7.15. They thought it was alright. They then be- gan to cut coal. Continuing witness said: We were lying sideways. We cut coal and filled two trams. The height of the roof was from 2 feet to 2 feet 3 inches. We pulled a bit of clod down, as it was customary to do so. It was on the top of the coal, and it was part of the larger coal that fell afterwards. We tested the clod again, and thought it was getting dry, and it would therefore be safer. Before filling up another tram we put up two posts, in order to make the roof safer. My brother then went, for water, and on his return we again tested the clod with a mandrel. We made no complaint to anyone, because, we found no bell-stones there. We then die- cussed the advisability of getting the clod down, and came to the conclusion that it was safe; so we filled another tram. My brother was working under the clod when it fell, and I was filling the tram. I heard the clod fall, and saw my brother's light go out. Two others were working close by. I saw my bro- ther under the clod, and, with the assistance of Oliver Meredith and another I got him from under it. He was able to speak. The under-manager came to us at the time. Continuing, witness said the deceased was "nr,,l 1 "r_]..L- .L1- jjiaueu in ct 11<1111, coiu. ooiivtjyeu to ule sur- face. Deceased continued to be quite con- scious. The Coroner: You were not right in your judgment that the clod was safe?-No; but ws thought the clod had stuck to the top so fast that it was quite safe. In reply to questions put by Mr. White, wit- ness said: There .are some inches of rubbish on top of the coal, and it is our practice to always take it down crop with the coal. The I clod that fell on my brother was not the only piece standing at the time of the accident. There was a piece just above me. We tried to get the stonei down with a mandrel before we started working under it, but we failed. We thought it had dried into the other top. We found it was quite safe because the clod had dried up, and if a post had been placed there it would be in the way. My brother was cutting coal when it fell. I believe that cutting the coal loosened the stone. I looked at the stonei after it fell, but I cannot say it was a rather rotten one. I know the rule as to putting up timber. They must not be more than five feet apart. Witness further stated that they had only worked 2g tons of coal before the accident happened. Oliver Meredith, Llwynhendy, a collier em- ployed at the Glynea Colliery, deposed that at about 10 o'clock on May 29th lie heard a fall at the "face" where the deceased worked. Witness was working about five yards away at the time, and shouted out, "Is everything alright?" Samuel Jones replied, "No; I want help." Witness proceeded to the spot, and saw that they had no light. After lighting the lamps, witness saw that deceased was under a stone. When he saw that deceased was fast, he tried to devise the best means of • extricating him. He lifted the stone up, and ] two posts were placed under it, in order to prevent it falling back upon him. Witness then told deceased to come from under the j stone. Deceased, who could then move, caught hold of witness's back, and he thus dragged i him out. Water was given him, and the under-manager arrived on the scene, after i which deceased was placed in a tram. De- I ceased was able to dress himself, and only complained of a pain on the right hip. The Coroner: Had you noticed the clod be- fore it, fdU-No; because I was not working in that 'face." What is the custom at the colliery when a clod of that kind is found ?—It is either pulled down, or a post its placed under it. David Williams, fireman at the Glynea Col- liery, stated that on the morning of May 29th lie examined the workings at, the colliery, and was in the. face in question at 6 a.m. He found everything in order. The Coroner: What do you mean to infer by saying that everything- was in order! Witness: I tested the roof with a hammer, and came to the conclusion that it was safe. The Coroner: You saw nothing which would cause you to warn deceased and his. brother that there was something which might prove dangerous ?—No. How long did your examination of each stall last?—Two or three minutes. Do you think that an examination lasting j over that short space of time is sufficient, seeing that the men have to work there a11, day. Mr. Davies: Is it possible that the stone which fell on the deceased was not visible when you examined the place?—Quite. Dr. II, John, Llangennech, stated that on examining deceased he found that there were bruises on the right and left sides of the hip. There were also internal abdominal injuries. Deceased died that evening from shock, as the result of the inj uries. In summing up the Coroner observed that the facts were practically undisputed. The evidence had been given by all witnesses qufte fairly. With regard to Oliver Meredith, he naturally knew nothing about the occur- rence. and therefore the remarks he made at the end of his evidence were not material to the issuet, as they were merely an expression of opinion. Meredith, when asked what he would do had he seen a clod the same as that which fell on the deceased, said, I would either see that it was pulled down, or I would put a post against it." That, of course, at first sight, was the obvious thing that anyone would do if working, as colliers did, under eemditiong of great danger. Every effort should be made to secure perfect safety for the miners, and -although' it seemed that evety effort was made in this case, this acci- dent happened. An examination was made on the morning of May 29th, and, in Wil- iiams's opinion, the place was quite safe. If Willialllsmade an examination, ahd there- was no reason to douht his word, there could be no blame attached to the management so far as that was concerned. The only matter that struck one was that an examination of that sort was of little value, if it could be an nulled by a man working at his proper place and winning only 2-1 tons of coal. One would j think, therefore, that more frequent cxami nations were desirable, but these remarks could not be construed into being a blame upon anyone, as that had been the praetico. It was a most unfortunate thing that the de- ceased and his brother, particularly the de- ceased, whose attention had been aroused by the clod, should have 'proceeded to work the coal. They made tests two or three times, and came to the conclusion that it was safe to work another tram of coal. There- was doubt m their minds, and one liked to see I absolutely no donlJtundor such circum- stances. It. would have been better, therefore, had Samuel Jones, or his brother, reported the matter to an official > Mr. Davies: Excuse my Mr. j I under-manager goes round after the fireman, and he was on his way to this particular "face" when the accident happened. There are two examinations made by officials every day. The Coroner: That has not come out in evidence, but it seems now that the under- manager would be going round to make an examination after the fireman. Before he arrived at the place, however, the accident had happened: but in saying all this, I do not say that there is anything out of the way so I far as the practice at the colliery is concerned. We are, however, anxious that every precau- tion should be taken, so as to prevent the I possibility of anything that might be over- hanging falling, and, if it does fall, that it t shall fall on no person. It is possible that I' in his cursory examination in the morning, David Williams did not see the clod, but t against that there is the fact that the de- ceased and his brother detected the clod, and, j according to the evidence, the more they were working the coal the nearer they were j bringing themselves to death. That was ano- ther reason why examinations should be more frequent. It was, therefore, important that in future the examinations made in colMeries ¡' should be more frequent and stringent. Everybody seems, according to the custom which now prevails, to have done what they I could, and the death of John Jones was, no doubt, the result of an accident. The jury returned a verdict of "Accidental I Death."



I G. W. R. ,i G. W. R.