Mexborough and Swinton Times, April 29th, 1932
Mexboro’ Man Killed At Denaby – Struck By Girder
The death of Frank Chambers (50) of 27 Addison Road Mexboro’ who was struck by a falling girder in the Denaby Main Colliery on June 10th, 1932, which broke his spine, and who died on Saturday morning, was investigated by Mr. W. H. Carlile and a jury at the Montagu Hospital on Tuesday.
Florence Chambers, the widow, said she saw her husband after the accident, on June 10th, in the Fullerton Hospital, but he was unable to tell her what had happened either then or at any subsequent tine. He was removed home on 23rd December and had been in bed ever since.
Frederick Robert Seeley, 20, Bank Street, Mexboro’ said he worked with Chambers in the 240 stall on June 10th, but was not actually with him when the accident happened. They were waiting for tubs, and Chambers had gone to the junction when there seemed to be a “terrible cack in the roof or like a bump.” He ran a few yards and then heard somebody shot, “Is everybody all right?” and someone else said Chambers was down. When he went back ambulance men who happened to be on the spot were attending to Chambers. Nothing had occurred during the morning to cause them to expect any trouble. The girder which fell was supported by two heavy legs. It was “a good junction.” Nothing else but the heavy junction girder came down. He could not account for the girder coming down, except to say that there was “a sharp bump.” The whole thing was “very unusual. “In reply to Mr. W. H. Johnson (for the Y.M.A.) Seeley said he was “almost sure” the legs were all right under the girder when they went in that morning though he did not take particular notice as the place seemed in such good order.
William Scales 22, Bank Street, Mexborough said he also was working in 240 stall, and four or five yards from Chambers when the girder came down. There was no warning but a terrible crash. When it was over, he saw the girder lying with one end on one of the tubs, the other on the ground. Near the girder was Chambers, lying on his back, but not pinned down. He thought Chambers must have been leaning on one of the tubs perhaps even giving it a good push, when the crash came and he turned instinctively, as they all did, but he unfortunately, was caught and knocked down.
I am an ambulance man, and I went to him and spoke to him. He said in a dazed kind of way – I don’t think he knew what he was saying – “What’s up.” It was intuition more than knowledge that stopped me moving him. I asked him if he could feel his lower limbs and when he said he couldn’t, I at once sent for further assistance” It was a junction at which no one expected anything untoward happening. Everything appeared safe.
The coroner: Can you account for the girder coming down> – The only explanation I can offer is that there was a sudden bump. It may not have come directly on top of the girder. It may have had a tendency to come obliquely and run the legs out.
Dr. Ian Campbell said he saw Chambers in the Fullerton Hospital on Jube 13th, 1931. He had a fractured spine, fractured right leg, scalp and other wounds., He saw him again on 1th April this year, In the meantime had been attended by Dr. Lee, the primary cause of death was a fractured spine. There was practically no hope of his recovery from the first.
The jury returned a verdict of “Accidental death” and, in an expression of sympathy Mr. W. Still, manager of the colliery, said the Company had lost, by an accident that could not be foreseen, an excellent man. Chambers was well known and respected among the workmen. Mr. Johnson added that the workmen had lost a good comrade.