Village News

Christmas Lights

History: Inquiry concluded | Terrible explosion at Royal Navy dynamite factory


  At Hayle the inquiry into the cause of the death of the four men killed by the recent dynamite explosion at the National Explosives Company's works has been concluded.

  Thomas Vincent Jory said he heard two explosions, and saw smoke issuing from the precipitating house first, and then from the filtering house, both of which were demolished.

  Captain Thomson. H.M. Chief Inspector of Explosives, said he had made a thorough examina-tion of the probable causes of the disaster, and was of opinion that the explosion originated in the precipitating house, and was probably caused by the fall of a heavy substance. There were a few articles of that kind in the house, one of them being the lead cups which caught drippings from the taps of the nitro-glycerine tanks, but he did not think the man was touching them. The probable cause of the explosion was that the man working in the precipitating house dropped half of the lid of the nitro- glycerine tank into the latter. These lids were formed of wood and lead. In falling it struck a slanting blow, which was the worst kind for causing an explosion. He recommended that for the lead cups there should be substituted others of a lighter material, and that the lids should also be made of lighter material. He considered that no blame could be attached to anyone for the disaster, as everything was carried out in accordance with the terms of the license and the rules of the works. He was satisfied as to the experience and capabilities of the deceased workmen, one of whom he had known personally. The amount of nitro-glycerine exploded was 4,000lb.

  The jury returned a verdict of accidental death, adding that no blame attached to the company or officials, and hoped that the recommendations of the inspector would be carried out. They also recommended that during the time charges of nitro-glycerine were being served a qualified chemist should be present.