Mexborough & Swinton Times, May 28, 1886
Fatal accident at Denaby Main Colliery.
At the Reresby Arms, Denaby Main, on Tuesday afternoon an inquest was held before Mr Dossey Wightman, coroner, touching the death of Robert Pattison, aged 55, a Corporal at the pit, who was killed on Saturday last. Mr Chambers, the manager of the mine, and Mr Wardell, inspector of mines, were present.
William Pattison, a Corporal at Denaby Main, and son of the deceased, recognised the body. So far as he could see, he thought, no one was to blame. He supposed the accident happened on account of the breakage of the coupling chain.
John Jones, rope man at the top of the engine plane, said he heard the rope suddenly stop its noise, and at once knew that something serious had happened. He ran to see what was the matter, and came across four broken tubs. A lamp was found on the ground, and he then thought someone had got injured. Soon after, he came across an arm. He got assistance, and the remains of the deceased were removed. The deceased was found under one of the corves. A link in the first corve – owing to a flaw – had broken, and that was the cause of the accident. (The link was produced, and the fracture was found at the back part of the link.)
By the inspector: The deceased was in charge of the plane.
The manager: the length of the plane is 1400 yards, and the gradient is one in 12. The witness said there were refuge holes in the plane, but he could not tell whether the the deceased had got in one of them. His body was found between the rails, several yards from one of the holes.
By the coroner: three tubs had been smashed to pieces, but none of them were uncoupled.
John Soar, under viewer, said he was in the pit when the accident happened, and he found the deceased dead. The man thoroughly new his duties, having worked in the pit 15 or 16 years. His opinion was that the deceased out stopped in a “refuge” hole while the corves had passed, and had then come out again and being knocked down by a corve through the accident happening.
By the coroner: I don’t think the floor in the chain could have been seen by the hanger on. There was a hook attached to the link which could hide the flaw.
By the inspector: the couplings are examined, I believe, by the banksmen but there is no special examination made of them in the pit. The “refuge” holes were all right and clear, and a proper distance from the rail.
James Rose, Enginewright, said he examined all the machinery that passed through his hands. There were about 1100 tubs in the pit, and he made a general examination.
By the coroner: the appearance of the link in question showed that it had been cracked before. The link was made of what was known as inch iron.
The inspector said he concurred in the evidence given, and was of opinion that the mishap had been accidental.
The coroner spoke to a light effect, and a verdict of “accidental death” was accordingly returned.