HC Deb 29 April 1892 vol 3 cc1653-4

I beg to ask the President of the Board of Trade whether his attention has been directed to the verdict of a Coroner's jury at an inquest held at Atherton, on Friday, 12th February, 1892, in the case of Edward Sandeland, when the verdict was that the deceased died from having, while at work in the Chanters Pit, Atherton, by accident and misfortune, inhaled certain noxious gases liberated upon the explosion there of a roburite cartridge, and that he came to his death by accident, and not otherwise; and whether any, and, if so, what, steps will be taken to protect life in mines by preventing the use of poisonous explosives?


The hon. Member will allow me to answer the question. Yes, Sir; I have had my attention called to the facts of the case of Edward Sandeland, and to the verdict of the jury. Although the jury decided that the death of the deceased man was due to the poisonous fumes of a roburite shot, yet there was at the inquest a difference of medical opinion upon the subject, and I have since had other competent opinions not in accordance with the verdict. The Inspector of the district informs me that the precautions observed on the occasion in question, both in respect of the time which elapsed before the workmen returned to the working place, and in respect of the air current which passed through the working place, were in conformity with the recommendations of a skilled Commission in Durham, which inquired into the possibility of danger arising from the use of roburite as an explosive in mines. Under these circumstances, I do not think that I ought to interfere under the Coal Mines Regulation Act to prevent the use of an explosive which is largely used and wihch has the advantage of being flameless.