asked the Minister of Fuel and Power if he will make a statement on the explosion at Kilton Ironstone Mine, near Broughton, Cleveland, on Monday.
Yes, Sir. I deeply regret that an explosion occurred at this mine on 3rd May in which one man was killed and another injured. I am sure the House will wish to express sympathy to the relatives. After the explosion 15 men engaged on rescue operations were overcome by gas and were taken to hospital, but I am glad to say that all have now recovered. The cause of the explosion and of the subsequent accident are under investigation.
While thanking the Minister for his expression of sympathy, which will be appreciated in my constituency, may I ask if he is aware that this was the second serious occurrence of this character in the Cleveland ironstone mines in the last few months? Is he satisfied that adequate precautions are taken to prevent explosions and that proper attention is being paid to the danger of gas?
After the explosion last year the mine went over from naked lights to safety lamps. Now, of course, it has become a statutory requirement; but they went over voluntarily. I cannot express, and it would not be right for me to express, any opinion about the cause of the accident until the investigations have been completed, but I should say that I think the direction in which we need progress in these matters is not in further regulations but in the proper carrying out of the safety lamp regulations.