Fatal Accident at Cadeby Colliery – Elderly Labourer Crushed.

April 1924

Mexborough & Swinton Times April 12th

Runaway Wagon.

Fatal Accident at Cadeby Colliery.

Elderly Labourer Crushed.

Mr. Frank Allen held an inquiry, yesterday, into the death of John Hornsby, a surface labourer, employed at Cadeby Colliery, aged 68, of Earnshaw lane, Coinsbrough. Hornsby was trapped between two wagons on Monday and killed instantly.

Evidence of identification was given by John Hornsby, son of deceased, living in Willow street, Coinsbrough.

G. H. Beaumont, of Union street, Doncaster, surface labourer, employed at Cadeby Colliery, said he was filling wagons with ashes about 6.30 in the morning. The wagon being filled was in the “hopper”. Two wagons were standing lower down a few yards away. It was quite daylight. When he had filled the wagon he took the “scotch” off to lower the wagon. He looked on both sides before doing so. When he lifted the brake off, the wagon ran down to the two wagons. He heard a shout. “Oh!” and that was all. He looked underneath the wagon and saw Hornsby lying in the centre of the rails. Opposite was a cabin used by platelayers. He did not see Hornsby when he lowered the wagon.

Jas. W. Dolan, of 41, Balby street, Denaby said he was called from the gantry and he put a “scotch” lower down about two yards away. The “scotch” was a block of wood across the rails, but it did not stop the wagon, which pushed the obstruction out of the way, thus running into the two wagons standing below. From where he stood he could see the platelayers´ cabin, but he was not aware that anyone was there. He heard no scream, but heard Beaumont shout. He (witness)tried to stop the wagon by putting a “scotch” under the big wheels out failed. Hornsby was dead when picked up from beneath wagon.

The Coroner said it was evident the wagon had run away from them. Had the brakes been in working order probably the accident would not have occurred.

Beaumont, re-called, said he applied the brake and ran alongside the wagon with his hand on the wagon. He had never known a wagon to run away before.

Wm. Goodinson, of Ewe terrace, Coinsbrough, said he was in the cabin and was taking a shovel full of ashes out when the accident occurred.

The Coroner commented on the slippery state of the metals.

The manager said that brakes had been examined and had been found not to be defective.

The Coroner expressed the view that Beaumont and Dolan might have given warning when they first discovered trouble. There was a regulation stating no wagon should be moved unless warning had been given, and no wagon should be left on an incline unless properly secured. The blocks in this case had failed because of the greasy state of the rails. It was obvious that the wagon had got out of control and had run away. A verdict of “Accidental death” was returned.