Denaby Miner’s Death – Six Ribs Fractured In Pit

February 1950

South Yorkshire Times February 11, 1950

Denaby Miner’s Death

Six Ribs Fractured In Pit

A verdict of “Accidental Death” was returned at the resumed inquest at Doncaster yesterday, on William Barnett (44), colliery Pan Turner, of Cliff View, Denaby, who died in Doncaster Royal Infirmary, on January 30 after an accident at Denaby Main Colliery on January 20.

Doctor Henry Lederer, pathologist at the Infirmary, said a post mortem revealed that Barnett and fractures of the fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh, eighth and ninth ribs there was also a compression fracture of the spinal-cord. Death was due to bronchial pneumonia, following fractures of the ribs and a spine fracture.

The Doncaster District Coroner (Mr W.H.Carlile), said when Barnett’s wife gave evidence at the opening of the question she said her husband was off work for nearly 2 years after an accident at work in 1936. Subsequently he had been in good health.

Sidney Hartley, collier of Annerley St, Denaby said he was working on the same shift, about two or 3 yards from Barnett when the accident happened. They were turning over a belt. Barnett had to withdraw a prop to get the gearhead in.

Ernest Hartley, father of the last witness, said Barnett and a temporary support over to cover himself, and was re-setting the prop that he had taken out, when a piece of stone, three or four feet long, fell on him. Almost immediately there was a second fall of roof, but this did not fall on Barnett. The temporary support had run out a strap bar.

Hartley added that it was necessary to take out the prop to put in the gearhead.

Harold Oakley, of Maltby Street, Denaby, said he examined the roof—which was coal and sand—at 11.45 that night, and found it to be safe. At three a.m. the gearhead was over, and had one prop withdrawn from beneath the end of the fore poles. The roof fell when Barnett was about to re-set the prop he had withdrawn to get the gearhead in. Barnett was doing his work satisfactorily.

Oakley said he did not examine the roof at three a.m. He agreed with the Coroner that had he done so he might have found a weakness. If he had done so he would have had extra supports put in. The most dangerous part of the operation, was completed before the stone fell. Further precautions had been instituted as a result of this accident.

The coroner said “The thing that strikes me is why the deputy did not make an examination at three a.m. I am rather disappointed that he did not look at it before he left shortly before the stone fell.”