South Yorkshire Times March 5, 1966
Man Was Crushed in Mishap
A jury returned, an open verdict at a Conisbrough inquest on Tuesday, on Mr. Norman Bruce Ray (58), of Oak Avenue, Conisbrough, who was killed while operating a coal cutting machine in the Haigh Moor Seam on Friday.
Mr Norman Bruce Ray, also of Oak Avenue Conisbrough, said his father enjoyed good health and never had any dizzy spells or heart attacks.
Pathologist, Dr Henry Lederer, said the cause of death was multiple crush injuries. He said that he could not form any opinion as to whether Mr Wray had an attack, because his body was so badly crushed.
Mr Frederick Ballinger, of March Vale rise, Conisbrough, a packer, said he had offered Mr Wray pinch of snuff. Shortly afterwards the dismembered and decapitated body was found scattered near a conveyor belt.
Mr Albert George Murray, of 11 Cadeby Avenue, Conisbrough, a packer, said that the conveyor chain belt has stopped shortly before the accident, and Ray had shouted down the coalface to see what had stopped the chain. Witness replied that there was a hold-up with a loader. He saw Ray’s lamps as he was driving the machine down the face. He went for a drink from his bottle, and then Mr Ray’s body was found.
Mr Albert Edward Hinchcliffe, of 3, Harlington Road, Rotherham, cable man, said the machine had only travelled a short distance after the stoppage and then he noticed a helmet on the belt, and the body was found.
Peter, Mr Richard Cory, of 7, Norwood Road, Conisbrough, said Mr Wray was an experienced operator. “I cannot see any reason why he should go to the cutting end of the machine or lean over it. The controls are on the waste side of the machine,” he added. Mr K.D.Potter, Doncaster and District coroner said: “We are left without any real evidence of how Mr Wray came to be crushed in this way.”