Mexborough and Swinton Times May 10, 1929
Trapped By Tubs
Mexborough Youth Killed in Barnburgh Mine.
Mr. W. H. Carlile held an inquiry on Saturday at the Montagu Hospital, Mexborough, into the death of George Cope (23), of Milton Street, Mexborough, who was fatally injured in the Barnburgh Main mine on the previous Thursday.
Mr. Carlile was assisted by a jury and there were also present Mr. H. J. Humphreys H.M. Inspector of Mines), Mr. T L. Soar (manager, Barnburgh Main Colliery), and Mr. J. Padley (Y.M.A.).
The Coroner said that about 5-30 p.m., on Thursday Cope was found lying injured on the tub rails. He had been run over and apparently carried some distance. It was difficult to say how the accident happened.
Thomas Cope (father), said his son lived with him at Milton Street, Mexborough.
John Andrews, of Lockwood Lane, Goldthorpe, employed at Barnburgh Main said he spoke to Cope about 4-50. They were working near each other. About 5-30 he and Raymond Wass found Cope lying between the tub rail seriously injured. There were two runs of tubs near and it had been Cope’s work to uncouple and couple the tubs. About 5.20 he was waiting for some empty tubs to come along when he heard Wass shout, “Oh come to George Cope, he is trapped.”
Witness started to run to the plaice and noticed a lamp lying in the roadway. “I passed a run of full tubs and then I got to Cope. Wass went on to telephone while I did what I could for Cope. Cope was lying between the rails and on the “full” road.
About ten yards away on the top side of him was another run of full tubs which were off the road. Further down there were some empty tubs which Cope had dealt with.
The Coroner: Can you suggest why the full run would be off the road?—Well Cope being under them would send them off. They had gone 25 yards past the pulleys.
Can you suggest what caused the accident?—In my opinion, Cope was trying to keep the rope in the pulleys of the second ran of full tubs when he was thrown In front of the first run. The full tubs had apparently gone over him. He was unconscious when we got to him.
In answer to Mr. Humphreys, witness said that as a rule the rope joining the tubs kept in the pulleys but if there had been any bad lashing-on, then it would come out.
Mr. Humphreys: When it comes out where does it float to?—To the coal side.
Mr. Humphries: The tension on the pulleys is towards the coal side?—Yes, sir. When the rope comes out it has a tendency to go that way.
Mr. Humphreys: You think then that the rope came off the pulleys on one run and he was trying to hold it in place when it threw him into the way of the other run? – Yes, sir
Raymond Wass, 60 Furlong Road, Bolton said he was working in the same place as Cope on Thursday afternoon. Cope asked him the time about 4-30 and then said he was going to get his “snap.” He became aware of something wrong just after five, by the bouncing on the rails on full run of tubs.
He got hold of the rope and walking down found Cope lying between the rails. He shouted for the last witness and then went and telephoned.
In answer to the Coroner, Wass said he surmised that Cope was trying to keep the rope in the centre of the tubs when the accident occurred. He had probably slipped on a buffer and got underneath.
Mr. Humphreys: Where was the rope when you found it?—It was near the coal side.
Dr. Dorothy Colver, house surgeon at the Montagu Hospital, said Cope was dead on arrival. She examined the body the following morning and found that both wrists were broken and dislocated backwards, the thumb and fingers of the right hand had been torn away, and that four ribs had been fractured on the right side. There were also a fracture at the base of the skull and on the left thigh. The chest was crushed and other evidence that tubs had passed over the man. Death was caused by shock following the injuries. The injuries to the wrists would have probably been done by the dragging of the rope.
The Coroner said that Andrews had probably given a true explanation of how the accident had happened. There was no blame attached to anybody and he did not know whether anything oould be done with the pulleys. That was a matter for the management. H.M. Inspector, and the representatives of the Y.M.A.
A verdict of “Accidental Death” was returned.