Entombed in a drift: exciting rescue attempt.

All day Wednesday, and througout Tuesday, a band of miners made heroic efforts to extricate a man who had been buried by a fall at a new drift in a pit at Pantygog, in the Garw valley. The drift was being dug just below and old level,locally known as Peace & Plenty, by contractors for the Braichycymmer,Garw Vechan and Darran Collieries, trying to reach the Victoria, Caedefaid seams.

The fall occurred just after the start of the 10:30 on the Tuesday night, and about 5 or 6 yards in instantly burying three men – David Davies, one of the contractors,(36) Joseph Toman, collier, (36) and John Malony, collier, He was pinned down but only slightly injured by the debris, but was eventually pulled free in half an hour. Malony, originally from Kenfig Hill,now lodging in 108 Oxford St, with the Jeffrey’s family.

Four hours later Toman’s lifeless body was recovered. There were three doctors, Jones, Parry & Scudamore, swiftly on the scene, Toman’s body was remarkably uninjured, but the initial cause of death was deemed to be Suffocation.

Davies was pinned down on the other side of the fall with only his head and shoulders free. The rescue party could hear his cries for help, and speedily set to work. Davies, however, had the horror of seeing that the work of the rescuers was loosening the rocks above him, and shouted warnings to the others.

In spite of the possible dangers they altered their plan of action accordingly. It was not until late on Tuesday night that Davies was reached, but, even then he could not be released, some of the earlier fall of timber and stones had somehow formed a protective arch over his head and shoulders but everything else was in extremely unstable condition, utmost caution had to be exercised throughout the rescue.

Davies showed great coolness during the rescue doing what he could to help. The stones of the fall were only being held back by some broken timbers,small rubble and clay. All this needed to be carefully removed a shovel full at a time. Eventually a small tunnel was made through a layer of clay to reach him. When they were through, the youngest rescuer, a boy, Thomas Evans,from Bettws, crawled through this to feed Davies a stimulant via a baby’s feeding bottle.

At eight o’clock on Wednesday night Davies was finally freed and removed from the drift. In the crowds waiting outside was David Davies’s father, who had been waiting outside since news of the fall had reached him, he had been accompanied by Davies’s wife throughout the rescue but she had been sent home to care for their five children.

Davies was cursorarily examined by the doctors and stretchered to his Pontyrhyl home, where he died four hours later of exhaustion and severe shock.

The rescuers were named as, C.Stock. S. Edmunds. T.Evans.W.Evans. J.Evans. W. Harman. ? Hodgson.

Abridged from an original reports. GG.1907. GJ.

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