Explosion at Flatt's Pit, Clifton [1873]

About 10:20 on the morning of Tuesday, 14th January 1873, a fire-damp explosion occurred at the Black Flat Pit of the Low Moor Iron Company at Clifton.

In newspaper reports of the accident, the pit is referred to as Black Flat Pit, Platts Pit, Flatt's Pit, and Green Lane Pit.

Some of the men were standing by a fire at a bottom of a ventilation shaft when damp – believed to have come from an adjacent drift – ignited.

There were more than 100 workmen in the mine at the time. Some of the men were up to 1,000 yards from the mouth of the pit.

9 men and boys were badly burned.

4 died from their injuries:

Those who were severely injured were

An inquest was held at the Armytage Arms, with William Barstow, deputy coroner.

The jury included

The Jury's verdict was

that the deaths of the 4 boys, John Denton, Friend Wood, Joseph Beevers and William Henry Stancliffe, were caused by an explosion of gas ...

... the Jury are of the opinion that the explosion was caused by the building of a stopping in the better bed of the Green Lane Pit by Thomas Jaggar, the deputy at the pit, which fired the gas at the furnace at the Flatts Pit when it exploded.

The Jury is of the opinion that the building of the stopping was an error of judgement on the part of Jaggar, for which he is very censurable.

They also think that Jaggar is unfit to hold any such responsible position under the Low Moor Company.

They further think that the Low Moor Company should make it a rule that the deputy should in all cases communicate to the underviewer on the first appearance of gas or foul air

© Malcolm Bull 2021
Revised 15:04 / 12th May 2021 / 4565

Page Ref: QQ_85

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