§ 13. Mr. GORDON MACDONALD
asked the Secretary for Mines whether he is now in a position to make a statement as to the cause of the accident at the Park Colliery, Ashton-in-Makerfield, on Wednesday, the 14th instant, which resulted in the death of three workmen?
§ The SECRETARY for MINES (Mr. Ernest Brown)
This accident occurred at a place where a retreating longwall machine face crossed an old brow, the floor of which had lifted. The face and brow were supported by props and bars closely set, and the roof at the goaf edge was further supported by chocks. At the time of the accident three men were engaged in levelling the floor of the brow and re-arranging the supports to make room for the coal cutter and conveyor. 1791 The roof became uneasy and suddenly collapsed over an area 15 feet long by 14 feet wide; one of the men and the deputy, who was close by, narrowly escaped the fall, but the other two men and a coal cutter attendant were killed. I am satisfied that special care had been taken to support the roof closely under difficult conditions, and that the work of re-arranging the supports was done with care and skill under the close supervision of the deputy, but the accident shows the need for still further precautions, and the character of these requires, and is receiving, the careful consideration of the management in consultation with all concerned. The hon. Member will be aware that at the inquest last week the jury returned a verdict of misadventure and attached no blame to anyone.
§ Mr. MACDONALD
Is the hon. Gentleman aware that as a result of this accident the method of timbering has now been entirely changed, and is he satisfied that as a result of new methods of getting coal the regulations are adequate?
§ Mr. MACDONALD
Is the hon. Gentleman aware that at the inquest the under-manager gave an undertaking that he would change the method of timbering?