HC Deb 20 July 1847 vol 94 cc591-2

In answer to a question put by MR. HINDLEY, the purport of which was not heard,


said, he very much regretted that the suggestion made some some days ago for a competent person to attend on behalf of the Government at the coroner's inquest, to which his hon. Friend alluded, had not been acted upon. The usual course was for Sir Henry de la Beche to attend himself, or to order a competent person to attend for him, on the occasion of accidents in mines; and at his (Sir G. Grey's) request, his noble Friend the First Commissioner of the Woods and Forests, communicated with Sir H. de la Beche on the subject. Owing, however, to that gentleman having been absent in Wales, the communication was not acted upon. With regard to the accident, he might state that he now held in his hand the letter from the magistrates to which he had alluded on a former day, but which he did not then read, as it might be considered that his doing so would tend to influence the inquiry then pending. The inquest having now terminated, he might now state that the document, which was signed by five magistrates, who had inquired into the matter, stated that the explosion was the result of a workman, who was one of the sufferers, having, contrary to the express orders of the proprietors, used gunpowder in the mine. That a search was commenced five hours after the accident, and continued until all hopes were abandoned of the persons in the mine surviving, and that it was not until the people were convinced that none of the sufferers could be alive, that the mine was closed. He believed the case had been thoroughly investigated, and that the result showed that the explosion had been caused by the carelessness of one of the victims.