§ Mr. CLOUGH
asked the President of the Board of Trade whether his attention has been called to the recent railway accident at Ferozebad, in India, in which at least 250 people lost their lives owing to the carriages catching five as a result of the gas cylinder bursting; and whether he will inform the House on how many railways in this country the lighting of carriages by gas is still in existence?
§ Mr. BRIDGEMAN
My right hon. Friend has seen a report of a Committee that hold an investigation into the accident referred to in the first part of this question, and the number of persons killed is estimated at about 100. In reply to the latter part of the question, I may say that the great majority of the principal railway companies in the United Kingdom, while they still possess stock lighted by gas, concur with the inspecting officers of railways in regarding electricity as preferable to gas for the lighting of rolling stock, and are fitting their new carriages accordingly. A number of companies are also converting their existing stock to make it suitable for electric lighting, and considerable progress had been made with this work before it was necessarily interrupted by the War.