A Relation of Persons killed with subterraneous Damps.
This Relation was likewise made to the Royal Society, by that Eminent Virtuoso Sir R. Moray, who was pleased, upon their desire, to give it them in writing; as followeth,
In a Coal-pit, belonging to the Lord Sinclair in Scotland, where the Coal is some 18 or 20 foot thick, and antiently wasted to a great depth: The Colliers, some Weeks agoe, having wrought as deep as they could, and being to remove into new Rooms (as they call them) did, by taking off, as they retired, part of the Coal that was left as Pillars to support the Roof and Earth over it, so much weaken them, that within a short space, after they were gone out of the Pitt, the Pillars falling, the Earth above them filled up the whole Space, where the Colliers had lately wrought, with its ruins. The Colliers being here-by out of work, some of them adventured to work upon old remains of Walls, so near the old wastes, that striking through the slender partition of the Coal wall, that separated between them and the place, where they used to work, they quickly perceived their Errour, and fearing to be stifled by the bad Air, that they knew, possessed these old wastes, in regard not onely of the Damps, which such wastes do usually afford, but because there having for many years been a Fire in those wastes, that filled them with stifling fumes and vapours, retired immediately and saved themselves from the eruptions of the Damp. But next day some seven or eight of them came no sooner so far down the staires that led them to the place, where they had been the day before, as they intended, but upon their stepping into the place, where the Air was infected, they fell down dead, as if they had been shot: And there being amongst them one, whose Wife was informed he was stifled in that place, she went down so far without inconvenience, that seeing her Husband near her, ventured to go to him, but being choaked by the Damp, as soon as the came near him, she fell down dead by him.