Alarming Accident – Engine Turns a Somersault – Driver & Fireman’s Miraculous Escape

May 1909

Sheffield Daily Telegraph – Wednesday 05 May 1909

Alarming Accident At Denaby.

Engine Turns a Somersault.

Miraculous Escape of Driver and Fireman.

A remarkable incident, causing a thrilling scene, marked the progress of shunting operations on the Denaby Colliery sidings last evening.

A powerful locomotive overran the rails on a highly-erected line, crashed through the stop block at the “bottle neck” end, and fell into the yard below, where it turned a complete somersault, and then rolled over on to its side, amid the debris of a landsale office and an adjoining cabin, which was tumbled into ruins by the force of the impact.

How the man driving the engine escaped violent death is a mystery.

They were in the engine cab at the time and went with over the siding end. They were E. Brown, the driver, of Ivanhoe Terrace, Conisborough, and Naaman Beeson, fireman, of Dolcliffe Road, Mexborough. Both escaped with nothing worse than shock to the system and a few bruises, and both were subsequently able to proceed to their homes.

When the engine “turned turtle,” the exhaust pipes must have broken, for the steam went up in dense clouds, and it appeared if the men must be terribly scalded.

James Lines, groom to the colliery company, and an eye-witness of the occurrence describing the affair to our representative, said, “I thought the two men were killed. It was thrilling moment and it looked hopeless to expect them live through it.”

In a minute Beeson came out of the steam, but Brown, who had been pinned down by the reversing lever, was not extricated until ten minutes later. Brown, it is said, describes the accident as being due the brake not acting.