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Epic Rescue after Pit Catastrophe – Sympathy With District – Mine Minister’s Message

May 1942

South Yorkshire Times – Saturday 02 May 1942

Epic Rescue after Pit Catastrophe

Mine Minister’s Message

Sympathy With District

Late on Saturday night Mr. Bell stated officially that Mr. D. Grenfell, Secretary for Mines, had spoken to him during the day and had expressed his very sincere sympathy with the people of the district, particularly those who might be bereaved and had offered to come to the district personally if necessary.

It was decided that there was no technical necessity for him to make the long and awkward journey from Swansea provided Mr. Grenfell’s concern and sympathy were conveyed to the local public, together with that of the directors, management and officials.

“The occurrence,” went on Mr. Belle statement, “is connected with violent earth movements, whether due to earthquake phenomena or due to mining operations cannot yet be stated. A district in the pit has been cut off by the disturbance and the most strenuous efforts are being made to reach the 17 missing men. Until these men; are actually reached It cannot be said that hope for their safety is finally abandoned.”

The possible explanation of the catastrophe suggested in this statement subsequently received endorsement when it became known that Father Rowland, of Stoneyhurst College Lancashire had recorded on his delicate instrument at 6.04 p.m. on Friday an earth tremor.

Offcials of the colliery say this was as near the time of the fall as it was possible to judge.