Mexborough and Swinton Times July 30, 1937
Deputy Who Heard Shouts and Groans
The inquest on Sales was opened by Mr J Kenyon Parker, the Sheffield District Coroner, at Swinton Council Offices yesterday afternoon, and among those watching the proceedings were major H.J.Humphries, Divisional Inspector of Mines, Mr David Platt, for the Colliery Company and Inspector Marshall, for the West Riding County Constabulary. The inquest was adjourned until Wednesday.
The Coroner said that day he was merely opening the inquest. After mentioning the accident, he said there was no doubt that the dead man died immediately from the injuries received in an accident the cause of which he did not yet know. The first intimation arrive from the newspapers, and it appears as though many of the other men have been very seriously injured.
His information from the Rotherham and Mexborough Montagu Hospitals that morning was that the greater number of them would undoubtedly recover and were going on well. In other words, perhaps the injuries were not quite so serious as they were first thought to be.
“That,” he said, “is a matter over which everyone will rejoice.” He the employers and all offered their sympathy to the relatives.
Evidence of identification was given by Mrs Amy Smith, a sister, 33, Doncaster Road, Whinney Hill, Rotherham, was said Sales’s wife was an invalid. The funeral is to take place on Sunday.
Ernest Cottrell, colliery deputy, 7 South St, Rycroft, Rawmarsh said at about 2 PM he was at the bottom of number two shaft waiting for a cage. When the cage fell he heard shouts and groans, and he and others buried in that direction and found the cage in an orderly position.
“I read to the bottom deck,” said the witness, “and found the men in various positions. Sales was there with other men, who were strewn about the bottom of the cage and lying across each other. I ran round to the other side and Mr the gate up, and saw two men side-by-side. Sales was one of them. I noticed he was bleeding profusely from the right leg and I knew he was in a critical condition. Some of his clothing and try to find the artery to stop the bleeding. But there was no pulsation and I did not find it.”
The Coroner: I am quite sure you did everything possible. I suppose I there would not be much light for you to attend to him.
Witness: Well, we who are accustomed to be underground see more than others. He made no movement or sound and he was carried out and placed on one side while we looked after the others.
In reply to Major Humphries, witness said he could not say how long it was before Mr Black (the colliery manager) came, but he saw him there before the men were sent out of the pit.
Dr WJ O’Connell, Rawmarsh, said he was one of the doctors called and he was at the pithead waited for the men to be brought up. When sales was brought up witness gave him a superficial examination, and found the other compound fracture of both bones in his right leg. He also formed the opinion that he had a fracture of the base of the skull.
The Coroner asked Dr O’Connell if he agreed there was no doubt about the fact that death was due to shock and haemorrhage. The reply was, “There is no doubt.”
It was made known that the inquest will be resumed at 12 o’clock on Wednesday at Swinton or Rotherham