Cae Glas Level Accident
25 October 1958 Coroner Praises Heroic Efforts of Fochriw Rescue Workers The Coroner and jury at a Bargoed inquest on Friday evening praised the heroic efforts made by firemen, a police constable, miners and mine rescue teams to save the lives of three miners who collapsed in a drift mine at Fochriw. A verdict of “Accidental death from asphyxia due to inhalation of carbon dioxide” was returned on the three miners - Thomas Idris Shankland, Wilfred Hollister, and his son, William Charles Hollister. They died on September 24. Desmond Evans of Guest-street, Fochriw, one of five men at work in the mine on the day of the tragedy, said that when he heard Wilfred Hollister shout that Shankland had collapsed further in the drift, he and the two Hollisters rushed to help. As he was trying to lift up Shankland, he saw the two Hollisters collapse. “I was partly overcome. I knew something was wrong and I held my breath. The next thing I knew was when I saw David Gittens standing over me. I heard after that he had pulled me out.” When he recovered he went to telephone for help, and Shankland’s two brothers and other men arrived. John Llewellyn of Glenview, Fochriw, a small mines owner, said he went into the drift. He could see the three men who had collapsed, and then the lamp went out. He realised it was impossible to get the men out without breathing apparatus. P.C. Southworth said it took four men to pull out one of the men. After a mishap to the breathing apparatus of the firemen, it was too dangerous to get to the third man until the mines rescue teams arrived. Appreciation of “outstanding bravery” by two Glamorgan firemen is to be recorded by the County Fire Service Committee, and letters of congratulation will go to Leading Fireman R. W. J. Smith, and W. G. Sims of Bargoed Fire Station. The two officers are to be presented with the Chief Fire Officer’s Commendation.
The Coal Authority Drawing SWR1772 – A Plan of the Gwyrid Veins (undated), depicts the position and of 2 levels which are shown to be about 20 chains (440yds) to the north of the river bridge, one on each bank of the Bargoed Fach brook. The western level is numbered 52 and the eastern level numbered 58. The workings of the western level extended to the west as far as the outcrops, roughly located on the site of the current Cwm Bargoed washery. The workings of the eastern level were in the direction of Rhymney although their extent is not shown on the drawing.