|Full Transcript- source 2|
|This is part of a report made by the mines inspector for the north of England in 1851. This inspector also complied the list of accidents in source 1.
|(Catalogue ref: HO 87/53)
First English portion of my district
It will be seen by reference to the list of deaths that only two explosions of any moment have occurred, viz at Washington in the county of Durham, and at Killingworth in the county of Northumberland.
In both cases I have recommended and pointed out the adoption of ordinary measures, such as in increased furnace power, and in large air courses, whereby a great accession could be made to the ventilation, for in both cases, the accumulation of Gas in the parts of the mine which exploded, might be attributed to the want of the ample current of air, not withstanding which at Washington, the people were permitted to be continue working with candles until the explosion took place, although some individual colliers (acting upon their own sense of danger), let the pit and saved themselves, therefore it is impossible to deny that great mismanagement attended this case.
At Killingworth the want of a sufficient quantity of ventilation, have produced some unimportant fires which induced the managers to remove the candles, and caused the workings to be carried on entirely with safety lamps, but some informality having taken place regarding the introduction of naked lights, contrary to orders, produced the explosion.
Now in both these cases it was quite within the compass of ordinary practice to double the amount of ventilation, whilst amendments might also be made with regard to the arrangement and subdivision of the air columns, each of these collieries had a separate downcast and upcast shaft, and each of the upcast shafts was furnished with two furnaces, whilst a remarkable coincidence existed between them, with respect to the amount of the ventilating current which was nearly 30,000 cubic feet per minute.