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  Colliery Guardian, 23rd October 1858
Fatal Accident from a fall of Stone, three Lives lost.

A FATAL accident has occurred at the Aston Lime Works, near Newport, through a fall of stone, by which three persons lost their lives, and another received serious injury. It appears that the pit in which the fatality occurred is an old one, and that parts of the old work are very loose and unsafe, large masses of stone having on several occasions slipped down, but without any previous fatal result.

The unfortunate individuals who have met their deaths in this case are James Plant and Thomas Maddox, who have left wives and large families, and William Jarvis, a youth about nineteen. Robert Whithington, a man bordering on seventy years of age, is also very much cut and bruised, though it is hoped not dangerously. When the fall took place, the other men in the pit rushed to the spot, and found the poor fellows completely buried under the stone.

After various attempts to extricate them, it was resolved that holes should be bored in the stone for the purpose of blasting it, and by this means in about two hours the bodies were got out, crushed in a most frightful manner, the head of one poor fellow being completely torn from his body.—At the inquest several of the miners were examined. Their evidence was to the effect that the stone which fell had been loosened by blasting; but no one in the pit had any idea that it was insecure, having tested it with their bars. They were proceeding to blast it again when the whole mass fell, without any warning, burying the unfortunate men beneath it.

One of the managers, Mr. Bennett, was also examined. He stated that be had implicit confidence in the experience of the witnesses Greenfield, Jones, and Stones, and could trust his life with their judgment, and had often done so. The jury also considering their evidence to be fully relied on, returned a verdict of accidental death. The stone which fell upon Maddox and Plant weighed upwards of six tons, and Jarvis was struck with a separate piece, weighing about one ton.


THE old Shropshire canal which has long been an important feeder from the iron districts to the Severn, and which has for many years paid handsome dividends, has almost become completely useless from the numerous shafts and old works, by which it is undermined. Not more than two or three tons could be brought along it, and an almost total cessation of traffic has been the consequence. This week, however, in consequence of the heavy rains, the supply of water has been greater, and traffic has been resumed.


Submitted by Steve Dewhirst

Note: The Newport incident occurred on 14th October 1858.

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