South Skelton Fatality – George Smith – 24 Dec 1903

Aged 32, Deputy, Thigh fractured and back injured by a fall of stone from face. Died the same day

1903 Mines Inspectors Report (Cd 2119), Durham District (No. 4) by R. D. Bain, H.M. Inspector of Mines, Page: 17

No. 516 on the list occurred at South Skelton Mines, belonging to Messrs. Bolckow, Vaughan and Co., Ltd., on December 24th, and caused the death of a deputy. It was of a simple nature but it shows that only by exercising the greatest care can accidents be prevented. The seam of ironstone was 9 feet in thickness and the middle part of a shaley nature; the pillars were being taken out and a thin shell of stone had been left next the goaf to prevent the stone as it fell, in the goaf, rushing into the working p lace When pressure comes on the middle of the seam, in this thin shell, is affected first and it bursts out or falls off. On this occasion two men were working in the face and the deceased deputy was on his way to tell them to watch the side shell carefully when a piece burst off and hitting him caused such injuries that he died the same day. It is a case where a man, whose duty it was to look after the safety of others, being killed by a fall of side stone the danger of which he was well acquainted with.

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