In shafts accidents have been both numerous and particularly fatal.
One by which 2 men lost their lives, was owing to the foreman placing two persons at the winch to lower and raise the men, who knew nothing whatever of the work they had to perform, who by candidly admitting his error escaped the serious charge of manslaughter.
Fatal Colliery Accident Near Longton Aug 1843
Joseph Leese was killed, between 6 and 7 pm on Monday evening, by falling down the shaft of a pit at Millfield-Gate Colliery, in the parish of Caverswall.
An inquest was held on the body by Mr.J. Cattlow, Esq., coroner, at the Duke of York public-house on Wednesday which resulted in the verdict of manslaughter against John Pritchard, the engine tender, and Joseph Mitcheson, a butty collier, who have accordingly been committed for trial at the assizes as being in some way implicated in causing the death of the deceased.
It was alleged that the deceased, having just ascended the shaft, but not being clear of the tackle, the engine having stopped at the time, when the engine tender not being sufficiently near to have the command of it, the engine made a slight reaction and drew him again over the pit, and Mitcheson having as is stated removed the wagon from over the mouth of the shaft the unfortunate man fell down the pit and was instantaneously killed. Leese, who was about 33 years of age, has left a wife and several children.
Another accident near Cheadle, which caused the loss of 2 lives, happened through sheer ignorance and want of experience in such work, and should be a sad warning to others not to run away with the idea that because they have worked in or about the colliery they necessarily become mining engineers.