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Welsh miners resuscitated following gas explosion

Year 1787, Mr. Thomas Williams, Surgeon, of Swansea, Glamorganshire

Read by Sheridan Swallow – Trustee, Royal Humane Society

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August 21, 1787

Communicated to Dr. Hawes,

By Mr. Thomas Williams, Surgeon, of Swansea, Glamorganshire

It is proper to observe, on the present interesting occasion, that the particulars of the dreadful accident, and recovery of EIGHT COLLIERS, were attested by DR. PATTERSON, R.MORRIS ESQ. MR. D. HOPKINS,

surgeon, and several respectable persons, whose vigorous and humane assistance given to the Faculty, providentially restored, in the course of a few hours, eight industrious men to life and their numerous families.

Dear Sir, August 21st, 1787

With great pleasure I inform you of the advantages I received from being a pupil to your course of lectures on suspended animation. Yesterday morning, Mr. David Hopkins and myself were called to the colliery of John Smith, Esq. in the parish of Lanfamlet, where a dreadful accident happened by the inflammable air catching fire in the pit, from the candles which the cutters had in their hands. An explosion was heard like that of several cannon ; and six others that were about three hundred yards off, were found dead.

In an hour afterwards several of their fellow-labourers agreed to go into the pit, to get up the remains of their friends. They remaining a considerable time, so that the agents suspected the sulphureous air had suffocated them also (which was unfortunately the case), some more men went down, and finding them apparently dead, brought the bodies up, after they had opened the air course: Mr. Hopkins and I were waiting at the engine bank for them. There was no pulse nor breathing, and the bodies were dead cold. The plan recommended in your lectures in this kind of suffocation, was vigorously pursued for an hour, when we discovered signs of life, and were so fortunate as to restore eight of the men. The Agents, Messrs David, John and Edward Martin, and several gentlemen, rendered us very assistance in their power, to restore the unfortunate persons. The names of the persons that are restored to life are Thomas Sims, David Jones, John Rees, Evan Hopkins, William Morgan, William Rose, and John King.

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