§ 50. Mr. SHINWELL
asked the Secretary for Mines how many accidents, fatal and non-fatal, have occurred at the Kinneil Colliery in the past three months; and how often his inspectors have visited the colliery in the same period?
§ Commodore KING
One fatal and three non-fatal accidents have been reported to the inspectors during the past three months. All these have been investigated and three other inspections, making seven in all, have been made during the same period. A complete inspection of the colliery, begun 10 days ago, is still in progress.
§ 51. Mr. SHINWELL
asked the Secretary for Mines whether he can make a statement on the accident at the Kinneil Colliery, Bo'ness, when two men lost their lives owing to a fall of ice in the shaft; whether any attempt was made to remove the ice before the men were lowered; and whether a public inquiry will be held?
§ Commodore KING
Owing to the severe frost during February, ice formed on the walls of the shaft almost to the bottom. Throughout this time, three shaftmen were employed each night cutting ice from the walls of the shaft with axes. On the day of the accident (22nd February) these shaftmen were at work in the shaft from midnight to 5 a.m. They considered it safe for work and reported it to be "all safe." The accident happened when the first cage-load of men was about to be raised at 2.30 p.m. The Public Inquiry under the Fatal 1125 Accidents Inquiry (Scotland) Act has not yet been held. I understand that it will probably be held early in April.
§ Mr. SHINWELL
May I ask whether it is not the case that one of his inspectors advised that no men should be lowered until the ice had been completely removed?