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.
*Please note that archival source materials are original historical documents that have not been censored, reviewed or otherwise altered by the Royal BC Museum.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.
Q: If there was an accumulation of gas in that hole, is the air course such that it would dispel the gas out of it? A: No it is impossible to make an air course that would dispel it. Q: Was the quantity of air adequate to ventilate the mines? A: We had a great deal more air than the law calls for. Q: When did you last measure it? A: Mr. Morgan measures it every month. Q: Would the quantity of air vary? A: No, I don't think it did. Q: Is the second south level a portion of the mine where an explosion has occurred within 12 months? A: Not that I know of. Q: Has inflammable gas been found here within 12 months? A: Yes. Q: Are any naked lights used in No. 6 mine? A: One naked light was used on the level. Q: Was that on the return air-war? A: No, sir. Q: Where abouts was it used? A: It was used from the outside of the level to No. 6 stall. From the entrance of the level to No. 6 stall. Q: That is not on the return air-way at all? A: No sir. Q: Nor is it contiguous to it? It is in the vicinity of it? A: It is quite a way off the return airway. Q: You know that there is a rule where coal is worked with safe lamps, no other light shall be used in the same ventilating district. Now was this ventilating light used in the same ventilating district where the safety lamps were required to be used? A: It was in the same district, but with lots of fresh air in the level; lots of it. Q: It was in the same district? A: It was in the same district. Q: Was it used between where the safety lamps are used and the return airway? A: NO, on the lower side of the safety lamps. Q: Were you through the second south level that day? A: Between 10 and 11 O'clock sometime, but I couldn't tell the exact time. Q: Did you detect gas? A: I got a little gas in the level and I gave instructions to Harry King to take a little corner off that was keeping the air away from this little cavity in the roof, and I understand, as you will find later on, that that corner was taken off and the gas went away. There was a little gas in No. 7 in the hollow of that cave. Q: Did you make any test? A: Yes sir. Q: What did you do? A: I put up my safety lamp. Q: How high did you raise your safety lamp? A: Within six inches of the roof. Q: Was there enough to cause you alarm? A: Not to amount to much, nothing to cause any alarm. In fact I have no hesitation in saying that I could have gone in there with a naked light on my head, and walked from one end to the other the same day. Q: How far did you go into the mine that day? A: I went in after I met Mr. Matthews coming, and got the curtains up, and as soon as we got the curtains put up we had no difficulty in getting around the places.
BC Archives GR-0431 Box 6 File 3
BRITISH COLUMBIA. ATTORNEY GENERAL. Inquisitions/inquests conducted by coroners in British Columbia.