Fatal Accident at the Denaby Main Colliery

January 1887

Mexborough and Swinton Times January 7, 1887

The Fatal Accident at the Denaby Main Colliery

The adjourned enquiry into the death of Edmund Wigley, a miner who died from the effects of injuries received while in the Denaby Main pit, on 27 December, was resumed at the Mason Arms In, Doncaster Road, Mexborough yesterday afternoon before Mr Dossey Wightman, coroner.

The first witness was Jonathan Rogers, a deputy at Denaby Main pit who said he was present when the accident happened. Deceased was in a part of the pit known as the drift, and was engaged with three others in getting a piece of coal under the bar to set a long prop. About a ton of stones and sand and dust fell.

As soon as they heard the fall they ran to his assistance. He was stood up, and when they got him out of the hole he complained of his head. They afterwards found a “break” where the accident occurred and a little fire. He did not notice any gas either before or after the fire.

By the inspector: When they got him out of the hole, he vomited 10 minutes; first it was food, then liquid, but he did not see any blood. Witness had examined the upper part of the roof before they commence working part. The lamp burned dull. He detected heat and black damp mixed.

The Coroner remarked that heat would not make the light burn dull.

Mark Kay said he went to the deceased, and found him laid down, leaning on the side.

The Coroner: Rogers said he was standing up.

By the inspector: He could not see find any marks where he had been injured. There would be about half a tub of small stuff, but he did not think that he was hurt by it. He could not tell what killed him.

The Coroner: Can’t you form any opinion; not even a bad one?

Witness said there was a little heat, but he did not notice any gas.

By the Inspector: It was warm, but he did not see any flame. When he (inspector) was at the pit the other day he say lamp put out by the “heat,” which was the same as those present at the time when the accident happened. He thought the inhaling of the “heat” caused deceased to vomit and led to his death.

The Inspector said the workmen spoke of gas as “heat.”

The Coroner stated that he had received the following certificate from Dr Sykes, who had attended the deceased:

“I believe the death of Edward Wigley was cause, not by a blow on the head by an inhalation of carbonic oxide. I’m quite prepared to give a certificate to that effect.”

The Inspector was quite convinced that death had been caused as the doctor stated.

The Coroner in summing up said he did not think it mattered whether death was caused by a blow or suffocation. The question was, was the fall the cause of the death.

A Juryman said the opinion seem to be general that death had been caused by the obnoxious gas. After deceased. You are taking some very breast, and the air would get on a stomach and cause vomiting. He (the juryman) had been down himself by the same “perfume.”

He verdict was in accordance with Dr Sykes certificate.