Symud i'r prif gynnwys
Cuddio Rhestr Erthyglau

30 erthygl ar y dudalen hon


Rhestrau Manwl, Canlyniadau a Chanllawiau

DEATH IN THE PIT CAGEFALLSONANOTHERCAGE ELY VALLEY DISASTER Graphic Stories Told Two oases fell into the sump at the Ely Colliery, Penygraig-, yesterday morning. As reported in yesterday's "Evening Express," the aocideiit was caused by the winding leachmery going wrong-, with the result that the ascending cage crashed into the sheaves and the descending cage, with its human freight, \va?precipit ated to the bottom. The in:pact was terrific. Sia-a,shin,- the sheaves, the upwa,rd cage broke the rope, and it then fell down the shaft, a distance of between 400 and 500 yards, on top of the 4oage belQw. The latter contained 24 men, five of whom were instantaneously killed, and one, Thomas Morgan, died later from his injuries. The Remainder, with four other men at the pit bottom, were severely mauled, sustaining Iraolures of iinibs and bruises. The experiences which the poor fellows Underwent were something indescribable. The lights in their tamps had been extinguished, an d a scene of the wildest commotion pre- vailed, and most of the unfortunate men thought that they had met their doom. Doubt- less the commotion which prevailed not only added horror to the situation, but in the Mildness of the moment probably many of the injuries were received, while the injuries of the others were grztly aggravated. The occupants of the cage had been ruth- lessly huddled together. One of them after- wards stated that hi wa.s pinned underneath five or six others who had sustained broken arms and legs, and thus were in agony of pains and unable to get off, and his efforts at extricating- himself were of no avail Thus they remained in the pitchy darkness for a time which appeare-l to them to be Rges, but really only a very short period elapsed, as there Were, aS is usual on these occasions, plenty of willing helpers, who were at all risks to themselves ready to render what assistance could be given to save their comrades from the perilous position in which they were placer! The Work of Rescue This was by no means an easy task, and certainly was far from being fred from danger. The empty cage in its downward flight had torn the lining of the shaft to Pieces, so there was no knowing the moment when the overhanging timbers, &c., might full and add to the list of fatalities. The tniner, however, is noted for his bravery when occasion calls forth his heroism, and '■ the present was no exception to the rule, and at risk of life and limb the men hurried without thought of their own safety to the assistance of the men who were in- volved in the wreckage. These were, indeed, literally imprisoned, and were absolutely unable to do anything for themselves. They were piteouely mean- ing, a.s every little movement caused excru- ciating pairs to the poor fellows. It was, indeed, as one of them put it, this that in a way brought them to their senses, as they were so stunned at ftrtt that they were Unable to realise what had happened. P--teous appeals were also made for water, and the scene was one which baffles descrip- tion. Under the circumstances, it is regarded "J" experienced mining engineers at marvellous that the list of fatalities 16 comparatively so short, and there were same miraculous I escapes. For example, one lad in the upper deck of the ill-fated cage, where practically every one of the others were victims to terrible injuries, including the five killed cn the spot close by him, escaped Ecathlesc- how, neither he nor anybody else can explain. The rescue work proved a rather slow pro- cess. The cage protection gates had first to be opened by the hitcher. Had the entrance not been previously secured pa-obably many of the men would have been thrown out, and would have been exposed to the second fall- ing cage and other materials which came down in great quantities. Ae it was, how. ever, the work of extricating the men proved arduous a,nd painful to a degree. Their IJiteous cries are described as heartrending whenever an attempt was made at removing! them. Those in the lower bond were eagod in by the walls of the eump, so that the only means of getting at them was by digging into the sump. Injured Man Assists in First-Aid I WTiile the number of injured men as recorded on the pit-top, and whose names are given below, number altogether 23, in addition to the five killed, the investigations of the management show that there were 1'eally only 24 in ttie cage altogether, and it is explained that the other four must have been injured on the surface, -where portions of the smashed sheaves and other materials simply rained about the place. The ropes also, getting fouled, whirled about, causing a. portion of the wall of the engine-house to fall. Great masses of debris, including Portions of the sheaves, also fell down the shaft, and added to the dangier of those below, as well as increasing the damage. The value of a knowledge of ambulance was exemplified in a particularly striking manner. A remarkable presenoe of mind was manifested by two of the victims-the brothers Davies. When light was procured, after a period of distraction and suspense which can be better imagined than described, one brother could see the bone protruding through his clothes. The brave fellow, who had a, thorough knowledge of first-aid, after assisting in the bandaging of his brother's leg. actually superintended and assisted in binding up his own fractured limb. The "unselfishness shown, too, was simply touch- ing. "You look after the others," was the characteristic pleading of one of the victims, vho himself was badly injured; "I can do all right, and I can wait." The damage done to the plant and shaft Inurt be very consider able, and the manage- ment cannot as yet give any idea as to the extent, and, in fact, they will not be able to do so until some of the broken maohin-ery and ropes and cages have been replaced, so Its to make descent practicable. Bringing Out the Bodies It was, of course, impossible for either, the Uninjured men in the workings or the victims to be brought up to the bank by the same shaft. This had to be done through the Pandy Pit, where thousands of men, women, and children congregated in the early Part of the day to get tidings as to the fate W those below, as it could not then be asce< tamed who tibe victim-s were. However, the pithead waa deserted about midday, except by the workmen engaged in repairs. The Ely is one of the oldest collieries in the district, and engages about 820 men. Origin- ally it was worked by an independent com- tvtny, but was afterwards taken over by the Cambrian Colliery Trust, when the big com- bine was brought about. At the Pandy Pit. where the bodies of the dead, together with the injured men, were brought to bank, thousands of people assembled from all parts of the valley. Good order was kept by Inspector Hall and his men. A reverent silence prevailed as the dead men were carried to thoir homes by their com- rades, and it was L. pathetic sight to witness women following their husbands as they were earned home on stretchers-. The suffer- ings of the injured were considerably relieved by the presence of ambulance men on tht, »IKKt. List of the Killed I Morgan Evans, collier. Williamstown. I Thomas Brown, Graigyreos, Penygraig. Alfred Watkins, collier. Turberville-road, Penygraig. Rennie Atkins. collier boy, Penygraig. Gideon Chapman, Edmondstown. Thomas John Morgan, Cornwall-street, Pen- ygraig (died at the hospital). Injured I The following are these who were injured:— Thomas Williams, Penygraig. Phil Pa-scoe, Penygraig. Thomas Davies. Penygraig. Daniel Davies and John Davies, Penygraig (brothers). William Thomas, Williamstown. David John Fry, Williamstown. Noah Matthews. Dinas. Andrew Thomas, Tonyrefail '1 homas i,ewi.i, Penygraig. William "liartin, Penygraig. David Davies, Penygraig. Joseph Late ft a. m, Penygraig (married). John Fry, Tyuyoae (father of D. J. Fry). Thomas Morris, Penygraig. Thomas Morgan, Williamstown. John Jo-nees, Pcnygraig. Wiilia-m Belmont, Penygraig. Robert Morgan, Tonypandy. Thomas Matthews, Trealaw, John Odgers, Penygraig. Solomon Lane. Penygraig. E. H. Coles. Williamstown. Directors' Sympathy I It should be added that Mr. Trevor Price,. the assistant general manager, who was in charge of the operations, in the absence of Mr. Leonard W. Llewellyn, who wan away in Scotland on a well-deserved holiday, worked incessantly, and was indefatigable in leading rescue parties, while Mr. Hoi lister, the manager, also worked hard. Mr D. A Thomas, M.P. (chairman of the combine), together with Mr. T. J. Caitagha-n 'director) a-id Hr. C. A. Pnllin (secretary), on haaxiaei-of the.-disaatac, horcied ud from Cardiff to the scene. Mr. Thomas, on behalf of the directors, desiras, through the "Western Mail," to convey the deepest sympathy of directorate with the injured men and the relatives of the deceased work- men. Amccg those who were also in early attendance were Mr. D. Watts-Morgan, miners' agent, who was preparing to attend a meeting at Cardiff, when he heard of the terrible event, and at once left, Porth for the scene. Mr. Tom Evans, the miners' sub-agent, was also present. Cause of the Accident Mr. Fred. A. Gray (chief inspector cf mines' and Mr. F. J. 'l'rump (assistant inspector) were also present, who had a consultation with the officials. Mr. Gray said he preferred nut to give an official report as to the cause, of the aceiOLCnt. It transpires, however, that the actual cause was the breaking of the spanner bar of the reversing gear. Mr T. Price, the assistant general manager, said that the immediate cause of the accident was over-winding, but what was the originating cause it was too soon to say. lIe wanted to make it explicit that 24 men were involved in the mishap, as far as the occupants of the cage were concerned. The other four men who had been injured must have bad their injuries through splinters or some debris falling upon them on the surface when the empty cage etruck the sheaves. Not Expected to Live Drs. P. R. Llewellyn, Gabe Jones. Alfred Jones, and Weichart descended the pit and attended the injured men. Dr. Llewellyn stated that four of the men who were sent to hospital were suffering from compound frac- tures, while amputations would be necessary in four or five cases. The most seriously in- jured is Harry Harsh all, who sustained a fracture of the ba-se of the skull, and he is not expected to recover. All the occupants of the caigc sutfered injury either in the form of bruising or shock, but seven or eight cases are more serious. SURVIVORS' STORIES. Empty Cage's Crash Upon Injured Men The men wno escaped relate tneir terrible experiences in the darkness. Daniel Davies, in an interview, said the scene was one beyond description. First of all came the big thump down to the bottom, and they wera already rendered quite dis- tracted, when they were horrified by the empty cage crashing through with tremen- dous forc;, oil top of the on3 in which they were imprisoned, and their being in totai darkness added to the terrible experiences of all concerned. When ultimately light wa", brought to the cage, about tie first thing he saw was a bone protruding from the thigh of his brother, David Davies. "You could see the naked bone," he said, "right through his trousers." So injured were they all that any movement on the part of anybody or anything caused the whole of them to groan piteously. "Something Horrible" Phil Pascoe, who. perhaps, was the least "niured of tlio lot. was equally graphic In his account of what occurred. Fortunately, he had oaly i, slight shock, and was the first to give succour to his comrades. But the heartrending screams," he said, were some- thing horrible. Wo were then at the bottom of the pit, and ou- cage had passed through some of tho timbering, which prevented us being hurled down the suirp. At last the hitcher came, and I was able to hand out man after man, and the experience was one I shall never forget." Mer. Screamed wii h Pain Thomas D. Thomas, a collier, of 34, Peny- graig-road, who was in the cage descending to work, said the first intimation he had of anything being wrong was a. jerking of the cage. For a few seconds it swung about, and then went down like a stone to the bottom of the shaft. "We did not know exactly what had happened, but thought the sides of the shaft were falling in suddenly, and with a rush the empty bond was taken to the top, then oame down with a crash, and was smashed to atoms. It was positively miracu- lOons that any of us escaped with our lives. The horror of being in the pitchy dark- ness was awe inspiring. I thought my end had come, and being a widower, my first thought was for the four children depending upon me, the oldest being not yet fourteen. Lights were loudly called for, but could not be obtained for the moment owing to the danger of an explosion. When they were procured a terrible spectacle presented itself. Men were scattered a-,out, in all directions, somo being in such agony that they screamed with pain when touched. Th3 injured called despair- ingly for water, and the whole scene was something heartrending. There were plenty of men in the workings, who, at great risk to themselves, commenced the work of rescue. Dr. Llewellyn, with a rescue party, was soon on the spot, with ambulance and medical apipliances, having descended by the shaft of the Pandy Pit. It will be some time," con- cluded Mr. Thomas, "before I can. return to work. My back is bad, my hand and foot crushed, and the shock has quite -unnerved me. Five Men on Top of Him William Fry, who, with his son, David John Fry, was in the cage, when interviewed in the afternoon as he lay in bed sa?d:—"lt came all so sudden. We went down like a etone. J It was an over in a moment. We werei huddled up together, and there wore five men on top of me with broken bones a,nd all -orts of injuries. I tried my best to extricate my- self, but could not do so. It was pitch dark, and our senses were really knocked out of us. so that I doubt very much if any of us can give an authentic account of what did occur. It was the groaning and shouting of the men in the two decks that made us first realise the nature of the c-atastrophe of which we were the victims. It was, I think, through being under the other men that I got my injuries, and I had to stay in this position for so long a time tha.t I was numbed and helpless by the time I was taken out." OFFICIAL REPORT I Cage Smashed to Atoms I Mr. Trevor Price, the assistant general manager of the Cambrian Combine, supplied the following official report of the accident to the press:— The accident happened about 5.45 this (Friday) morning, when the men, in the usual course of things, were descending the mine All of a sudden the ascending cage, when within a length to the top, was seen suddenly to fly upward at a rate, with the result that the ascending cage came into contact with the sheaves on top of the head- gear, causing one of the sheaves to be broken to pieces, an,d at the same time snapping the winding rope a little above the cap. The result was that the empty cage fell with tremendous force through the mouth of the pit down into the shaft. Simultaneously the men who were descending on the other side felt an unusual jerk. The cage dropped a little faster, when it suddenly came in con- tact with the landing beam. This first jerk seems to have caused a great deal of alarm, whioh, probably, accounted for a good many injuries. But what really did the great damage was the empty carriage falling from the top coming into contact with, the side of I the carriage containing the men at the pit- bottom. After the accident it was discovered that five out of the twelve men on the top deck of the carriage had been killed, whilst among them was a little boy, who walked out unhurt. The twelve on the bottom deck, although more or less badly hurt, escaped fatal injury. The damage has been considerable, both on the surface and underground. Some of the stays of the head-gear have been broken away, two of the guide ropes and one wind- ing rope are broken, and two cages are so damaged that they will be unfit for use again, the empty one being smashed to atoms. We cannot say what the damage is in the pit itself, because we have been unable to descend the shaft to make a proper exami- nation, owing to the guide ropes and sheaves being broken. We cannot make a proper examination for a good many hours, until them have been re-placod. Every one of the hitchers and the men happening to be at the pit bottom tendered valuable assistance in getting the men out of their perilous position. The pit having been literally torn and everything hanging out, no one knew at what moment some timber or beans might fall and strike them. Every- body who took part in the rescue work is to I be highly commended. "His Majesty's Inspector F. A. Gray and Assistant-inspector F. J. Trump examined both surface and underground. It is difficult to ascertain the exact cause of the accident, it being up to the present somewhat inexplicable." Amputations at Porth Hospital I Four of the more seriously injured, Thomas John Morgan (since dead), John Davies, Thomas Morris, and William Thomas, were taken to the Porth Cottage Hospital. Drs. Llewelyn and J. Nauuton Morgan had to per- form amputations on three of the unfor- tunate men. Morgan had his arm ampu- token off at the knee, and Morris's leg was taken o. at the knee, and Morris's leg was also amputated. Thomas suffered from com- pound fractures of both legs, and an opera- tion of wiring the bones was performed in his case. Joint Inquest I A joint inquiry wHl be conducted into the a?fidcnt by Mr. R. J. Rhys and Mr. D. B?M, roroners, as the bodies of victims lie in their respective districts. Message from Home Secretary I Mr. F. A. Gray, Chief Inspector of Mines for Cardiff District, received the following telegram from the Secretary of State: — Sc-cretary of State learns with great regret of the accident at the Naval Caliiery, Penygraig. Please oend full particulars to

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