COLLIERY DISASTER IN SOUTH WALES -Shortly after 11 o'clock yesterday morning [4 August 1896] an explosion occurred at the Dinas Main Colliery, Bryncoch, near Neath, Glamorgan, which is the largest Colliery in the district. It is situated on the Duffryn estate, and the company have reached the six-foot seam. Between 500 and 600 men are employed in the colliery, and yesterday morning about 360 went down the pit for the day shift. It is assumed that a fall had occurred which interfered with the ventilator, and an accumulation of gas followed. The colliers detected the presence of gas, and most of them returned with all all speed to the main opening and were drawn up. Scarcely had they gained the top when an explosion took place, and a volume of smoke rose from the pit's mouth. Prompt measures were taken to clear the airway and restore ventilation, and Mr. Richard Thomas, the manager, and Mr. Williams, the under-manager, with a and of helpers, descended the working in search of the men known to have been left in the pit. Mr. Wiles, the consulting engineer to the company, who was making one of his periodical visits to the colliery, arrived shortly after, and also descended the pit. Some time elapsed before tidings were gained as to the entombed men, and then three of them were brought to the bank in a very serious condition. They could not at first be recognised but were at length identified as James Jones, fireman, badly burnt; David Meyrick, fireman, much burnt; and Evan Jones, collier, very badly burnt. All three are married. Then came a long and anxious wait for information as to the other men in the pit, concerning whom there was little hope that they would be brought to the surface alive. Meanwhile Mr. John Newall Moore, of Longford, one of the proprietors, Mr. J.S. Moore, of Duffryn, and Mr. Isaac Evans, miners' agent, together with colliers and "gaffers" from adjacent pits came upon the scene, and Mr. Evans at once joined the exploring party. Mr. Harry Thomas, the surveyor to the company, was also among the workers underground. Shortly after 2 o'clock the first dead body was brought to the bank. It was that of Lewis Jones, aged 60, who leaves a widow and three children. It was followed by the body of his son, William Jones, married. At a later hour two other bodies were found, one of them being another son of Lewis Jones. Among those who escaped was John Henry Jones, a third son of Lewis Jones. Several men had extremely narrow escapes. The colliery pit has hitherto been free from serious disaster, and the newest appliances in ventilating fans have been in use.
The next day: THE NEATH COLLIERY EXPLOSION - The partial examination of the workings of the Bryncoch Colliery which has been made discloses the fact that the explosion did comparatively little damage to the roadways. No more bodies have been recovered. James Jones, who was rescued on Tuesday, died yesterday.
THE NEATH COLLIERY EXPLOSION - The Home Secretary has telegraphed to Mr. Robson, her Majesty's Inspector of Mines, stating that he deeply regrets to hear of the Bryncoch Colliery accident, and expressing his admiration of the energy and courage displayed by all concerned in bringing the men out of the mine. A thorough examination of the workings of the Bryncoch Colliery was made on Thursday by the Mines Inspector, Mr. George Adams, the manager and under-manager of the colliery, and Alderman Isaac Evans. They found the work of clearing the roadways well advanced, and work might be resumed in a portion of the colliery, but the men decline to descend the pit until the workings are ready for all to return. Mr. Robson, Mines Inspector, praised and rewarded two young door boys, who, in obedience to an official's order, remained at their posts until after the explosion, notwithstanding their knowledge that peril was imminent. David Meyrick, fireman, one of the injured men, died yesterday evening, thus bringing the total number of deaths up to six.
5 Dec THE EXPLOSION AT THE BRYNCOCH COLLIERY.- The reports of Mr. Chester Jones, barrister-at-law, and Mr. J.T. Robson, Inspector of Mines, to the home office on the explosion at Bryncoch Colliery, near Neath, on August 4 last, by which seven persons lost their lives, have just been issued as a parliamentary paper. Mr. Jones, after reviewing the evidence given at the inquest, considers that two breaches of the rules were disclosed, the first of which was technical and comparatively venial, while the second was far more serious - namely, the allowance of the use of lamps which did not comply with the requirements of the ninth general rule of the Coal Mines Regulation Act, 1887. Still, as the efficiency of the partly-protected Davy as a safety lamp is a matter for experts' opinion, MR. Jones thinks that there would be great difficulty in securing a conviction. Mr. Robson points out that firemen who have to examine for gas cannot be expected to use the same type of lamp as the workmen, because they want to detect the gas and yet not lose the light. To meet this, Davy lamps with the upper portion of the gauze bonneted and the lower portion fitted wit ha movable glass cylinder outside the gauze have been introduced in mines generally, and have been supplied to the firemen of the Bryncoch colliery. In this particular explosion Mr. Robson thinks that, if the officials had met and carefully considered the whole circumstances, no explosion would have happened, and five out of the seven lives would not have been lost. He urges that in future neither officials nor workmen should rush recklessly into any inflammable gas which may be detected with any lamp. He adds that certain technical recommendations made by the coroner's jury have been carried out by the management of the colliery.