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Transcription from ‘The Times’ newspaper dated 2nd December 1882



    The inquest on the bodies of the men killed by the colliery explosion at Clay Cross was concluded yesterday. Mr. J. E. Barker, of Sheffield, was present on behalf of the Clay Cross Company, and the Government inspectors of the district were also present. Mr. Busby, the coroner, in summing up, said all the scientific witnesses agreed in their opinion that naked lights might be used in comparative safety in such pits as that where the explosion took place; but the occurrence of this calamity would no doubt tend to the adoption of safety lamps in the pit, and probably in a good many other pits in the neighbourhood. The inquiry had elicited the important fact that even in mines which appeared to be almost entirely free from gas sudden out-bursts might occur and naked lights might fire the gas, and produce the disastrous result which had happened in this colliery. He asked the jury to consider in which part of the mine the explosion originated; whether they believed the explosion to have been the result of accident; whether it was caused by any negligence or carelessness; and whether they believed due precautions were taken to insure the safety of the mine.

    The jury, after more than an hour's retirement, returned a verdict that the 45 men were killed by an explosion which probably originated in the third flat of the Parkhouse pit. They were agreed that there had not been any negligence or carelessness on the part of the Clay Cross Company or the officials. They believed proper precautions were taken for the ventilation of the pit and that the explosion occurred by a sudden influx of gas, for which no one was to blame. They were also of opinion that safety lamps should be used in the deep parts of the mine. They expressed their deep sympathy with the bereaved.

    Mr. Barker, on behalf of the Clay Cross Company, said the verdict of the jury as to the use of safety lamps had been already anticipated by the company.


Copyright - The Times, London, 1882


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