LOWCA MINER KILLED.
ESCAPE IN RESCUE ATTEMPT.
PINNED BY MACHINE
AGAINST COAL FACE.
One man was killed and a workmate who rushed to try and save him narrowly escaped death when an accident occurred on Monday evening during coal cutting operations in Lowca No. 10 Pit, which is owned by the United Steel Companies, Ltd.
The victim was Alfred Dawson DENWOOD, aged 40, a married man living at 61, Foundry Road, Parton, who was using the machine.
For the part he played Thomas MILLICAN, was commanded by Major W. T. HIGHET, who conducted an inquest yesterday (Tuesday) in the lOwca Welfare Hall. A large number of miners attended, and there were also present: -
Mr. W. B. BROWN, H. M. Inspector of Mines
Mr. A. MILLER, United Steel Companie's Agent
Mr. R. SKERRY, De3puties Association.
Mr. FLETCHER, foreman of the Jury.
Thomas MILLICAN, of 62, The Oval, Salterbeck, Workington, said he was assisting DENWOOD with the machine when it got caught between a jud of coal and the timber. Deceased was chopping off a piece of coal with a pick when the driving rope tightened and the machine jumped forward pinning him against the coal face. Witness heard him call "Tommy, Tommy" and he ran to switch off the machine, but could not reach the handle owing to deceased's body covering it. Witness called for the main switch to be disconnected and that was done immediately.
Questioned by Mr. BROWN, witness said they stopped the machine to advance the derrick, and when it was restarted there was tension on the rope right away. He did not think DENWOOD had miscalculated that he could liberate the cutter before there was tension on the rope. Deceased's body was smothering the starting handle and when witness rushed to release him the driving strap jammed both of them against the coal face.
Mr. BROWN: If the machine had been standing it could have been regulated with perfect safety? - Yes.
Can you suggest why that was not done? - No, perhaps just to get the machine going.
Replying to Mr. SKERRY, MILLICAN said that his shout to switch off the current was obeyed instantly. That was why witness escaped injury.
Edward MILLICAN, brother of the last witness, said he switched off the current immediately and ran to the place.
The Coroner: Was it possible for your brother to switch off from the starting handle? - I did not take much notice.
Summing up. Major HIGHET said he thought they could congratulate Thomas MILLICAN for his narrow escape and for all he had done to help his unfortunate commrade. If there had been an error of judgment the jury must remember that DENWOOD himself was in charge of the job and there was nobody else over him to whom blame could be attached.
The jury returned a verdict of "Accidental death," and together with the Coroner and the representatives expressed sympathy with the relatives.
Mr. MILLER said the machines had been used in the mine for 17 years, and that was the first accident. The Company regretted it very much.