HC Deb 07 June 1939 vol 348 cc417-8
Mr. Crossley (by Private Notice)

asked the Secretary for Mines whether he has any statement to make on the disaster which occurred yesterday at the Astley Green Colliery, Lancashire.

The Secretary for Mines (Mr. Geoffrey Lloyd)

I very much regret to have to inform the House that as the result of an explosion which occurred in the Crumbouke Seam at Astley Green Colliery at about 1 p.m. yesterday five persons, including the manager, lost their lives and eight others were injured. The cause of the explosion is not yet known, and further investigation will not at present be practicable because owing to the occurrence of other explosions during the afternoon and the risk of further loss of life it became necessary to seal off the workings near the pit bottom. This work has been in progress since yesterday evening, the principal stoppings have been completed and work on the remainder is reported to be proceeding satisfactorily.

I know the House will desire to join with me in expressing the deep sympathy we all feel for the relatives and friends of those who have been killed and the hope that the injured may make a speedy recovery.

Mr. Gordon Macdonald

Were the workmen's representatives consulted before sealing up the affected area?

Mr. Lloyd

It is part of the instructions to the inspectors to do so, and I have seen reports that it was done, but I will seek confirmation.

Mr. George Hall

Will an inquiry be set up into the case?

Mr. Lloyd

There will be the usual inquiries by the inspectorate.