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The Derbyshire Times, Fri 29 Sept 1950

Thanks to Ian Gilbert for this information


Inquest Opened "Men Died Without Much Suffering"
When yesterday (Thursday morning the District Coroner (M Michael Swanwick), sitting with a jury, opened the inquest on 47 of the men at Creswell Colliery Institute he said that he proposed to take evidence of identification an doctors' statements only.

Dr. Al. Lecutier, pathologist Chesterfield Royal Hospital, said that he conducted three post mortems which establish the cause of death as carbon monoxide poisoning, Tests had revealed a very large quantity of carbon monoxide present in the blood of the men.

In the doctor's opinion the men would have died quickly and without much suffering.

Dr.T.A. Hunt (National Coal Board) said that he examined the bodies as they were brought out of the pit during Tuesday night. A careful examination was made of each case, and it was found that they bore evidence of carbon monoxide poisoning. " In my opinion each one died from the poisoning itself, Dr. Hunt stated.

He added that there were markings of scratches and cuts on some of the bodies consistent with their having been dragged after death.

Coroners Announcement Mr. Swanwick said that the proceedings would be adjourned until the official inquiry ordered by the ministry had taken place. The resumed inquest would be held at Chesterfield, where accommodation facilities were more adequate, he stated.

In his remarks, the Coroner said that the disaster had affected not only the neighbourhood but also the whole county, hardly a family in the village of Creswell had not suffered the loss of either a relative or friend.

From time to time tragedies of this nature occur," he said, "They cast the shadow of death over the whole village community. The families of these men of Creswell colliery have been through a very great deal. They have borne it very bravely, and they have the sympathy of every man and woman in the country." The Coroner paid tribute also to the rescue workers and to the police.

Sir Hubert Houldsworth (Divisional Chairman, N.C.B.) expressing the sympathies of the Board referring to many messages received from all parts of Britain, the Commonwealth and other countries of the world in recognition of hazards of the mining industry and the bravery of its men. Others to pay tribute to the dead were Ald. Bayliss (Notts President. N.U.M, Mr. E, Miron (solicitor to the Coal Board), Coun. F. Hadfield Chesterfield (for the Jury). Mr. Walker (representing National Association of Overmen, Deputies and Shot firers). Mr. C. Calow, J.P. (British Association of Colliery Managers). And Supt. L Strettonn (Eckington Police Division), on behalf of Derbyshire Police.


Pit Terminology - Glossary