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Vancouver Coal Company

As part of the Chinese Historical Wrongs Legacy Initiative, we’ve digitized a small selection of inquests and inquiries from 1872 to 1934, found in series GR-0431. These were chosen to reflect the experiences of early Chinese immigrants to B.C. – their living and working conditions, and their unfortunate accidental or unusual deaths.   They range from a woman working in a brothel in Barkerville who died of natural causes to three sawmill workers who died from malnutrition. Learn more.

*All transcriptions are provided by volunteers, and the accuracy of the transcriptions is not guaranteed. Please be sure to verify the information by viewing the image record, or visiting the BC Archives in person. 

BC Archives GR-0431

*Please note that archival source materials are original historical documents that have not been censored, reviewed or otherwise altered by the Royal BC Museum. Some materials may contain content that is racist, sexist or otherwise offensive. The Royal BC Museum is only the custodian of archival materials; the content does not necessarily reflect the views or policies of the Royal BC Museum.

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I have mined in Washington (Errington?). Have been mining for twenty two years. There was always plenty of air in the place where I was working and in the roof of my stall but I can't exactly tell - I cannot say which part of the slope is in rock or which is in coal. Where I was working the thickness of the coal varied from sixteen to eighteen feet - We took the coal right away to the roof. I did not hear of any complaints of gas in the day of the explosion - I know Andrew _____ - As far as I knew him he was a careful fireman. I have known him ever since I was in the mine. The mine had been watered a short time before the third of May that is a portion of it - I experienced the advantage of it - There was not so much coal dust.

(Underlined in red): To Mr. Robert - The watering was done to my own knowledge. It was done by a hand pump and hose. As far as I heard all the shafts in my vicinity were watered. To my own knowledge I only know of my own stall being watered. It would not take a great while for it to get dry again. I do not know whether it was very dry the day of the explosion or not. If it was I did not notice it. I don't think I (paid?) any shots that day. I cannot say as to a day or two when the shafts were watered.

(Underlined in red): To Mr. I Young: I know that my place gave off a very WITH gas . I know that the stall below me gave off a birth gas from a cave in the roof. Even if there was a stoppage of air any (?) gas could (?) in (?) (?) in the place where I was working. On the day - early in April - in which I was sent home there was a temporary stoppage of air below me due to a cave in the roof. The roof had caved (?) twelve or fourteen hours before I was told to go

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