§ The Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasury (Captain Margesson)
I have been asked to reply, in the absence of my hon. and gallant Friend the Secretary for Mines, who was not aware that this question was being asked. I understand that an explosion occurred at about 9.30 p.m. on Monday night on a longwall machine-cut face, whereby four men were killed and four injured. Three other men who were working on the face are missing and there would seem to be no hope that they can have survived. They are beyond an extensive fall which is in course of being cleared, but at 2.30 this afternoon these 1189 men had not been reached. Investigations into the cause of the accident are proceeding. The House will wish to join with me in expressing our deep sympathy with the relatives and friends of those who have lost their lives in this tragic disaster.