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.
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Alexander Gillespie, fireman. Sworn:- By Mr. Potts:- Were you the fireman on duty at No. 6 mine on the night of the explosion, July 15th? A: Yes. Q: When did you come on duty? A: Three o'clock. Q: What is the first thing you do when you come on duty? A: I get the report from the fireman on the shift preceding me. Q: Then you got Mr. King's report? A: Yes. Q: You noticed there was gas in the second south level? A: Yes. Q: When you got the report of the preceding fireman, what did you do? A: I started to make my own rounds. Q: Did you make any examination of the mine on the afternoon of July 15th? A: Yes, I made one round. Q: Had you been through the second south level? A: Yes. Q: What time did you get through there? A: I left about a quarter past five. Q: Did you test for gas there? A: Yes. Q: In any quantity? A: No. Q: Have you made a report? A: Yes, I reported on the 15th as I found it before the explosion. "I have examined ill-working places in No. 6 mine, and found "gas in 7 and level in 2 south 1 level in 4 incline all the "rest are clear." Q: When did you make that report? A: I guess it was about two days after the explosion. Q: Did you test the ventilation? A: A: Yes. Q: Ventilation good A: Yes. Q: What was the air pressure? A: About 29.80. Q: The same as it was in the morning? A: Yes. Q: Does 20.80 indicate a good air pressure? A: Yes, sir. Q: What time did the explosion occur? A: About 7 o'clock. Q: Where were you at the time of the explosion? A: Just at the entrance to No. 2 south level. Q: How far would that be from where the explosion occurred? A: I couldn't tell you. Mr. Morgan:- How far were you in the level at the time? A: Just at the entrance to the level. Mr. Morgan:- That is about 100 yards away from the explosion. Mr. Potts:- Did you know of the explosion immediately it happened? A: Yes Sir. Q: What steps did you take in consequence? A: The first thing I done, I didn't think it was near as bad as it turned out to be - I ran into see what was the matter.
BC Archives GR-0431 Box 6 File 3
BRITISH COLUMBIA. ATTORNEY GENERAL. Inquisitions/inquests conducted by coroners in British Columbia.