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Explosives Substances Act, 1875—Dynamite Explosion In South Wales—Question

Volume 229: debated on Thursday 25 May 1876

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asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department, If he has seen by the report of the Coroner's Inquest on the dynamite explosion at Maesteg, South Wales, that there was at least one hundred and fifty pounds of dynamite in a man-hole of the tunnel where the explosion took place on the 21st of April; if he has observed by the report that naked lights were used where the parties in charge were handling the dynamite; if he has had it brought under his notice that the charges for exploding with were all made in the man-hole where the dynamite was stored; whether he will, if it is not already provided for by the Act of Parliament, bring in a Bill to prevent the use of naked lights where dynamite is stored underground; and, whether he will make provisions in it against the storing of such large quantities of dynamite, and make provision that it must not be prepared for use where it is stored?

, in reply, reminded the hon. Member that he had already stated that he had thought the matter so important that he had directed the Inspector to make a special inquiry, quite independently of the Coroner's inquest, into the facts of the case, under the 66thsection of the Explosives Act of last Session. That inquiry had been held, but the Inspector had not yet made his Report. As soon as he did so the Report would, in accordance with the provisions of the Act, be laid upon the Table of the House, when such action would be taken upon it as the Government might think right. The work in the tunnel where the explosion took place had been carried on with an unexpired licence under the old Act. The new Act required that the place where dynamite was stored should not be used for any other purpose. He had no doubt that that Act would be quite sufficient to meet the exigencies of the case to which the hon. Member had referred.