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 Folds, mine manager. Sworn:- By Mr. Potts:- You visited the scene of the explosion in No. 6 mine? A: Yes. Q: When? A: On the day following the explosion was the first visit I made. Q: That would be the 16th of July? A: Yes. Q: Did you make any examination? A: Yes. Q: Now tell the Jury the result of your examination. A: I went in the entrance of the Second South Level; went up No. 3 right alond the lond wall, and examined the roof and face for gas etcetera, and travelled round the large cave in the branch off No. 6 . Found couldn't get out there, so came down No. 6 and went up No. 7. Travelled the rest of the long wall of No. 6 and found gas. Then went in 7 and travelled the remainder of the long wall back. Q: Did you make any examination that day? A: Yes, I visited throughout the whole district. Q: Were you able to form any opinion as to where the explosion occurred? A: Not then. It was too premature then to form any opinion until we saw the cave cleared up. Q: Were you able to form any opinion at all? A: Yes from the evidence of the force and direction, the explosion was somewhere in the neighborhood of the cave. Q: And the cave was where? A: In the branch off No. 6. Q: Did you search for any explosives? A: Well I examined for evidence of blasting, open lights, matches and so forth. Q: Did you find any? A: Not on that day. Q: When did you make your next examination? A: On the following day. Q: Did you find anything on that day? A: The following day war the 17th. On the 18th I found that open light "B" in No. 6 and a box of cigarettes. Q: Did you find anything else on that day? A: Some matches I found in a vest pocket; either a vest or a jacket hanging on the same road. Q: To whom did the coat belong? A: To the party to whom the watch belonged. Q: Did it appear to be the coat of a miner working? A: The coat of one of the fellows who worked in that place. Q: Was there anything near the scene of the explosion? A: It was within two stall lengths of the explosion. Nearly 100 feet. Q: Did you find any other portion of the lamp "B"? A: Not at that time. I think the day following we found the other portion of the lamp, a little down the roadway, opposite some rock work. Q: Was it broken? A: No, it was all right. Q: Is it in court? A: It has disappeared someway. Q: What condition was it in? A: It was all right; it had evidently been separated for a purpose. Q: From your examination, Mr. Folds, where in your opinion do you think the explosion occurred? A: In examining carefully, and tracing the evidence of the force and the non-coking dust and coking dust deposits, I am of the opinion, without any hesitation in saying that it occurred between the end of the branch road off No. 6 roadway, and the branch road off No. 7; the end of these two branches, between the two, in the neighborhood of where the last Chinaman was working.
BC Archives GR-0431 Box 6 File 3
BRITISH COLUMBIA. ATTORNEY GENERAL. Inquisitions/inquests conducted by coroners in British Columbia.