§ The Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasury (Captain Margesson)
I must apologise for the absence of my hon. and gallant Friend the Secretary for Mines, who is away from London at the present moment and therefore had no knowledge of this question. I have been asked to reply.
My hon. and gallant Friend regrets to have to inform the House that an explosion occurred yesterday afternoon in a double unit conveyor face in the Black-shale Seam at Markham Colliery in Derbyshire: seven persons were killed and several others injured. Investigations by His Majesty's Inspectors are proceeding at the colliery, but no information is yet available as to the cause of the explosion. The House will wish to join in expressing our deep sympathy with the families and friends of those who have lost their lives in this tragic accident.