Leeds Mercury – Monday 05 May 1919
Thrilling Story of Rescue Work.
Young Miner’s Terrible Experience.
A thrilling, story of rescue work in a Doncaster colliery was told to the Borough Coroner, at an inquest on Saturday on Herbert Hall, twenty-two, miner, of 11, Clifton Hill, Conisborough, who died in Doncaster Infirmary on Thursday, following internal injuries and shock caused a fall roof in the Yorkshire Main Colliery at Edlington.
Hall was knocked down a fall of roof, which completely buried him under about two tons of debris. Hall’s face could just seen, and great efforts were made to release his head. This was quickly accomplished, but altogether the work of rescue occupied between five and six hours, during which time the rescuers were in imminent danger being buried alive themselves as further falls continued. Hall was conscious the whole time.
Enos Parry, of 46, Church-road, New Edlington, the deputy, said the first fall this spot occurred in the last week the recent three weeks’ strike at the colliery, which was settled at Easter. He attributed both that fall and the one which killed Hall to the strike.
The Coroner: If there had not been a strike you think these falls would not have happened?—l am certain they would not.
Witness said that everybody worked very hard get Hall out, and they managed to do so without Hall losing consciousness. Witness put a sprag to ease him. The roof continued to drop, and Hall said: Enos, run back; it anyone has to go let me go myself; don’t you get killed.”
Witness added that the manager, the under-manager, and doctor were all assisting.
Mr. Walker, manager of the colliery, said that during the rescue work big pieces of roof were still coming down. The blood was running off our hands,” continued the manager, “ as we struggled to get these big pieces off him. We put sprags over him to prevent the big pieces coming to his head; we conducted big lumps over his head means of levers.
“When we got him out he thanked me personally for all that had done, and were terribly disappointed when we heard that had died.”
The Coroner said that a word praise due to the men, who were working in very great danger to themselves for over five hours, in getting this poor man out. It was a brave act on their part.
The jury returned a verdict of “Accidental death.” and added a rider in commendation of the men’s conduct, which they considered very praiseworthy.