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A fatal accident occurred shortly after 4 p.m. yesterday at the new municipal buildings, Port Chalmers, to one of the plasterers, James Renton, twenty-three old, who, while engaged at his work on the Grey street front of the facade, by some means or other, stepped off the scaffolding (which is some 4ft wide) and fell on the pavement, a distance of some 30ft, alighting on his head. He was immediately picked up and carried to the Port Chalmers Hotel. Dr Drysdale was speedily in attendance, but life was found to be extinct, the base of the skull being fractured and the neck broken. Some of the workmen state that the poor fellow gave a heavy groan or two when picked up. The deceased, we are informed, was the main support of his widowed mother, his father having met his death by a similar accident some eighteen months since.

At the inquest to day John H. Simmonds taid that deceased was working backwards, throwing cement on the moulding. He asked witness how the work was getting on, and turning round to answer witness saw him step over the end of the plank with his right foot and fall to the ground, striking the cornice in his descent. The scaffold was perfectly safe with proper caution. Witness had worked off and on for six years with deceased, who, as a rule, was very careful and perfectly sober, being an abstainer. The accident was caused by deceased being too much taken up with his work and through forgetfulness. —William Watson, contractor for the building, said deceased while working on the scaffold got flurried—not frightened—and nervous, and when working on the back of the building got a nasty tumble through his carelessness.—The jury returned a verdict of “ Accidentally killed.”

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Bibliographic details

FATALITY AT PORT CHALMERS., Issue 7928, 8 June 1889

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FATALITY AT PORT CHALMERS. Issue 7928, 8 June 1889

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