HC Deb 27 February 1958 vol 583 cc547-8
Mr. J. Griffiths

(by Private Notice) asked the Paymaster-General whether he will make a statement on the accident which occurred at Tumble Colliery on the night of 25th February.

The Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Power (Sir Ian Horobin)

Three men were killed at Great Mountain Colliery at Tumble, Carmarthenshire, during the evening of Tuesday, 25th February, when a sudden outburst of coal occurred. H.M. Inspectors of Mines are investigating the accident, and will make a thorough review of the precautions which are taken at the colliery to avoid accidents of this kind.

The House will no doubt wish to join with me in expressing sympathy to the relatives of the men who lost their lives.

Mr. Griffiths

I desire, on behalf of my right hon. and hon. Friends, to associate myself with the Parliamentary Secretary's expression of sympathy. As, to my own knowledge, there have been incidents because of an outburst of gas through coal in this valley before, may I ask whether there will be a full inquiry and, if so, whether, when the inquiry is completed, its report will be published?

Sir I. Horobin

As the right hon. Gentleman knows, this particularly tragic type of danger in coalmining is peculiar to this area of the country. [HON. MEMBERS: "No."] I did not say that it was confined to that area, but I have the support of the right hon. Member for Llanelly (Mr. J. Griffiths) that it has happened before. It is a very special danger to this kind of mining and, as the right hon. Gentleman knows, there is, as a result, a special advisory committee, representing the bodies concerned, which employs a full-time inspector and gives special attention to this danger.

A special series of precautions are laid down which apply to this colliery. I have no reason to suppose, and no reason has yet been given to suppose, that these precautions have not been properly carried out. All that, of course, will be gone into very thoroughly at the investigation which is taking place. I think that it will be best to wait for the preliminary report of that investigation before considering whether any, and, if so, what, further action should be taken.

Lady Megan Lloyd George

May I ask the Minister what arrangements have been made to give immediate financial assistance to the wives and dependants of the men who have been killed in this tragic accident?

Sir I. Horobin

As the hon. Lady knows, there is a special fatal accidents scheme relevant to this type of tragedy. I am happy to be able to inform the House that two payments have been made already and that the third will be made today.