On Wednesday morning Mr. J. V. T. Lander (coroner for the Wellington district) held an inquest at Dawley on the body of Thomas Grice aged 35 years, of Dawley, who was killed by a fall of coal and bass when at work in the Wood house Pit, St. George’s, on Monday. Mr. Beech appeared on behalf of the Lilleshall Company and Mr. Makepeace (his Majesty’s Inspector of Mines) was also present.
The evidence was to the effect that the deceased was an experienced collier and had worked in the pits during the greater part his life. Shortly before 12-o-clock on Monday morning deceased and a man named Thomas Turley of Snedshill were working close to each other. The coal had been "holed", and bottom coal worked out and spragged.
The deceased had drawn the sprags and was knocking a wedge in, when a quantity of coal and bass from the roof fell on him. He had examined the place himself before he began to knock the wedge, he had said nothing about a slip in the coal. Turley was there when the fall happened, and the deceased was knocked backwards against the tub, sustaining such serious injuries to his throat and right hand that he died before medical aid could be procured. It was said the deceased had always been a careful man in examining and setting timber. The fireman had been through the pit that morning, and examined and found it safe. The injuries to the throat would probably be caused by the deceased falling onto the tub, which had an iron hoop on the top. About one-and-a-half tons of coal and bass fell. Sprags had been fixed, with plenty of timber supports and the place had been examined before the men started work.
The jury returned a verdict of “Accidental death”.
The accident happened on Monday 16th December, the inquest took place on Wednesday 18th.
Mr. Grice was classed as a 'getter'.