§ MR. JAMES ROCHE (Kerry, E.)
I beg to ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether the gob fire which has caused the lamentable loss of life in Whitwick Colliery has been known to have been in existence in a dangerous condition and place for over 20 years; and whether there is any provision in force for the protection of the lives of miners in similar circumstances?
§ THE SECRETARY OF STATE FOR THE HOME DEPARTMENT
Gob fires have existed in this mine for many years, probably 20, but they have always been carefully watched and kept under control. It is impossible at present to say whether the cause of the present disaster is a new fire due to spontaneous combustion or the bursting out of an old fire, hitherto kept under control. There are no special provisions in the Mines Act on the subject of these fires, but the general provisions are sufficient to enable the inspector to enforce proper precautions in all cases where danger can be foreseen.