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Colliery Guardian, 19th January 1861
Explosion of Gas at the Grange Pit, Madeley.


An inquest was held at the Crown Inn, Dawley, on Tuesday, upon the body of William Evans, who met with his death by an explosion of gas. The pit is naturally liable to sulphur. A feeder also was known to exist near where the explosion took place, and water having broken in a few days since the air passages of the mine had become stopped. Under such circumstances, one would imagine the greatest caution would have been used ; but, unfortunately, this does not appear to have been the case.

The deceased, William Evans, whose duty it was, as “ doggy” of the pit, to see that the works were safe, upon approaching the dangerous part of the works, on Monday morning, took with him his light instead of leaving it behind him, while three men—Jones, Guy, and Maiden—also fearfully burnt, and now in a very precarious state, instead of remaining at a distance till informed of the safety or otherwise of the mine, followed closely upon the heels of the deceased. These men carried with them naked candles, and there appears to be some grounds for believing that the deceased carried, in addition to his lamp, a lighted candle also. The consequence was an explosion that shook the works, killing the doggy and frightfully burning the men whose names are above mentioned. The inquiry was adjourned till Saturday for the attendance of the Government inspector of mines.


Submitted by Steve Dewhirst

Note: The explosion occurred on Monday 14th January, with the start of the inquest on Tuesday 15th January.The 3 men who were badly burnt, died later from their injuries (Colliery Guardian, 26th January 1861).

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