Incident directory

1968 - Brackley Colliery, Bolton

16/04/1968

Country:

UK

  • Building Fires

Severity:

Description

Date of event

16th April 1968.

Time of event

Unknown at this time.

Name of premises

Brackley Colliery.

Location

Farnworth, Bolton.

Service area

Bolton County Borough Fire Brigade (BCBFB) now Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service (GMFRS).

Nature of incident

Confined space incident – HAZMAT, Methane (CH4).

Property type

Colliery.

Premises use

Industrial.

Construction type and materials

Unknown at this time.

Occupancy

Unknown at this time.

Fire source and location of fire

N/A

Synopsis

Brief Synopsis

A Leading Firefighter (LFf) was overcome by ‘fumes’ at a confined space incident, special service call (SSC) at a Colliery incident (House & Settle, 2016).

It is understood that the incident occurred during the attempted rescue of 3 children, all girls aged 10, 12 who were both sisters and their friend aged 13, who also died at the incident. The LFf had breathed in Methane (CH4) also known as ‘black damp fumes’, during the rescue, collapsed and died as a result (McMullin, 2016, Unknown author, 1968 and Bolton & Radcliff, 1968).

This incident was also a near miss for 3 other firefighters (Ff) who were all overcome and had to be ‘pulled out by other rescuers’ but recovered after treatment in hospital. It is currently understood that one of the girls who had entered into the disused mine a short distance had been overcome, whereby a further friend or sister and then another subsequently also followed into the mine to help, where they were also overcome. The alarm was raised by one of the girl’s young brother aged 10 (Robinson, unknown date, Unknown Author, 1968 and Bolton & Radcliff, 1968).

It is also understood that the 10-year-old boy had also entered the shaft but had ‘smelt gas and turned back’ and then gone to get help (Bolton & Radcliff, 1968).

Ffs had to use sledge hammers to widen the hole that the girls had got through to gain access. It is currently understood that LFf Liptrott who died entered without breathing apparatus (BA) and then donned a BA set while in the mine shaft. The Boothstown mines rescue team from Boothstown had also attended the incident and assisted with the rescues including those of Ffs (Bolton & Radcliff, 1968).

The incident, it is believed, also changed rules to fire service pensions in that a widow could also claim for her husband’s pension if they had died on duty at a non-fire incident, or special service call (SSC). Prior to this incident the relevant pension rules wording had only included fire related on duty deaths (Bonner, 2017).

 Pic 01and02

Image by Roy Spencer, from Bolton & Radcliff, 1958 via and courtesy of Bob Bonner and the Greater Manchester Fire Service Museum.

 Pic 03

What is currently understood to be the hole that the Image by Roy Spencer, from Bolton & Radcliff, 1958 via and courtesy of Bob Bonner and the Greater Manchester Fire Service Museum.

Further information hoping to be identified and still to be located.

Main findings, key lessons & areas for learning

Further information hoping to be identified and still to be located.

Fire & Rescue Service summary of main findings, conclusions, key lessons & recommendations

Further information hoping to be identified and still to be located.

FBU summary of main findings, conclusions, key lessons & recommendations

Further information hoping to be identified and still to be located.

Other report summary of main findings, conclusions, key lessons &recommendations

Further information hoping to be identified and still to be located.

IFE Commentary & lessons if applicable

None produced at this time.

Known available source documents

Further information hoping to be identified and still to be located.

FRS Incident Report/s

No information identified to date and/or still to be located.

FBU Incident Report/s

No information identified to date and/or still to be located.

Health & Safety Executive (HSE) Incident Report/s and/or improvement notices

No information identified to date and/or still to be located.

Greater Manchester Police Incident Report/s

No information identified to date and/or still to be located.

North West Ambulance Service Incident Report

No information identified to date and/or still to be located.

Building Research Establishment (BRE) Reports/investigations/research

No information identified to date and/or still to be located.

Coroner’s report/s and/or Rule 43 and/or Regulation 28 Notices etc

No information identified to date and/or still to be located.

Dear Chief Officer Letters (DCOL), FRS Circulars, FRS Notices and/or Bulletins etc

No information identified to date and/or still to be located.

Notifications from National Operational Learning User Group (NOLUG) and/or Joint Emergency Services Interoperability Principles (JESIP)

No information identified to date and/or still to be located.

Other information sources

House, A. & Settle, P. et al. (2016). The firefighter memorial trust book of remembrance. [online]. Available at; http://www.theonlinebookcompany.com/OnlineBooks/FirefighterMemorialTrust/Content/Filler  [Accessed 20th September 2017]. The Firefighters Memorial Trust.

Note; with the above source reference, it is not currently possible to link directly to the relevant page of the memorial book.

McMullin, K. (2016). "I was lucky but Jack was not" - Fireman remembers hero colleague who died trying to save 3 children’ [online] Available at; http://www.theboltonnews.co.uk/news/14317786._quot_I_was_lucky_but_Jack_was_not_quot____Fireman_remembers_hero_colleague_who_died_trying_to_save_3_children/ [Accessed 4th June 2017]. The Bolton News.

Robinson, A. (unknown date). Brackley pit tragedy: Tuesday 16th April 1968. [online] Available at; http://www.historicbolton.yolasite.com/brackley-pit.php [Accessed 4th June 2017].

Unknown Author. (1968). Bolton fireman dies in mine rescue attempt. Fire. (May). Page 610.

 Pic 04

Bolton, C., & Radcliff, D. (1968). Girls die in pit gas trap, fireman killed as rescue team fight way in. The Sun. (17th April). Unknown page number. Courtesy of Bob Bonner and the Greater Manchester Fire Service Museum.

 Pic 05

Unknown authors. (1968). Emergency teams rush to old mine, 3 girls, fireman die in put tragedy. The Bolton Evening News. (16th April). Unknown page number. Courtesy of Bob Bonner and the Greater Manchester Fire Service Museum.

 Pic 06

Unknown author 2. (1968). Bitter feeling in fire service over pension. The Bolton Journal. (11th October). Unknown page number. Courtesy of Bob Bonner and the Greater Manchester Fire Service Museum.

 Pic 07

Further information hoping to be identified and still to be located.

Service learning material

No information identified to date and/or still to be located.

Videos available

No information identified to date and/or still to be located.

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