Home Office Inquiry Into the Cadey Disaster – Points From The Enquiry.

August 1912

Mexborough & Swinton Times – Saturday 10 August 1912

Points From The Enquiry.

The explosion occurred between half-past one and two, on the morning of the ninth of July.

It was probably caused by an accumulation of gas in a large cavity behind number sevens, on the fault side, in combination with a sudden outbreak of fire, after “gob stink” had been noticed for two or three days.

Mr. Charles Bury, the deceased manager of the mine, was directing operations, for the cutting off of the fire region up to, the day before the disaster.

There is no record of any report having been sent to the Divisional Inspector of “gob stink.”

Thirty-five men were killed in the first implosion, and 52 in the second, which occurred at half-past eleven.

The wisdom of sending down the pit as many as 65 men after the first explosion was questioned.

The range of the explosion was limited by the heavy percentage of stone-dust among the dust in the workings.

Mr. Witty says he has helped to deal with 35 fires at Cadeby. Mr. Chambers says there have been 56 fires at Denaby and Cadeby within his experience.

Prior to the July explosion there have been two other explosions, one in which four men were burnt, and one in which two were burnt.

Mr. Chambers does not think the hydraulic pressure system could be brought to bear on the Cadeby gob fires, on account of the water difficulty.

He also says that it would be more dangerous to withdraw the men from the pit when there is a threatening of gob fire than to leave them in, because while the pit is standing idle there is a greater liability to gob fires.

Analyses of the air in the mine were taken at four different points between the explosion, a circumstance which is unprecedented in the experience of the Chief Inspector of Mines.

General analyses of gas in the Cadeby pit since May show no instance of less than twenty per cent. of oxygen, as compared with the 21 in normal air.

Mr. Chambers supports the theory of Dr. Huger, that gob fires may be averted and suppressed by pumping inert gas into their neighbourhood.

He says that owing to the very bad character of the roof at Cadeby, it is impossible to work the top coal, and so obtain natural sealing and packing.

It is arranged that in future the neighbourhood of any fire shall be plentifully sprinkled with stone-dust, to limit the force and extent of any explosion.

An attempt is to be made on Saturday to break through the stoppings, and by means of men with rescue apparatus, to recover the fourteen bodies behind them.

After ventilation has been restored up to as near the fire as possible, the Chief Inspector and the rest of the officials of the Inquiry are to inspect the workings, after which the inquiry will be resumed and concluded.