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Colliery Accident, Ripley

Volume 486: debated on Tuesday 10 April 1951

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(by Private Notice) asked the Minister of Fuel and Power whether he has any further information regarding the accident which occurred yesterday at the Denby Hall Colliery, Ripley, resulting in five miners being entombed?

Yes, Sir. Yesterday morning at 10 o'clock, a fall of roof occurred at Denby Hall pit at one end of the double unit long wall face of the silkstone seam where a Meco-Moore cutting and power-loading machine was in use. During the three years for which this face had been worked, this was the first mishap from a fall of ground. It occurred suddenly and without any warning signs.

Of the men working there, who were seven in number, five were completely buried; two others were partly buried. The two partly buried men were soon released, and were taken to hospital in Derby, suffering from minor injuries and shock; I am sure that hon. Members will be glad to know that they are doing well.

The dangerous condition of the roof hampered the efforts to extricate the other men, but the rescue squads have so far recovered the bodies of two of the remaining five, one at 4.30 and the other at 7.30 this morning.

The rescue work is going on, but to my deep regret there now seems to be little hope that any of the other three men can be alive. I am sure the House would wish me to express their gratitude to the rescue squads, who have been working in perilous conditions, and their deep sympathy with the families and friends of the miners who have lost their lives.