A correspondent writes as follows to the ‘ Pall Mall Gazette ’“ About eight o’clock on Saturday night, 18th May, as some workmen in tbe Siemens department of Messrs Thomas Firth and Sons, Sheffield, were about to remove a red-hot steel ingot, weighing twenty-six tons, from the castingpit, a terrible accident occurred. The 100tans travelling crane had been brought into position over the ingot, which stood in the casting-pit, when, as one of the workmen (Stanley by name) was adjusting the chain on the crane, his foot slipped, and he fell into the pit, a distance of 15ft, right down beside the column of red-hot steel. Some idea may possibly be formed of the awful nature of Stanley’s position when it is known that the ingot had but a few hours previously been a sea of bubbling fluid in furnace. And then a deed was done at which one’s flesh creeps as one thinks of it. A laborer, known familiarly as ‘ Sailor Jack ’ —we call him ‘ brave John Smith ’ now —realising in a moment the awful position of poor Stanley, who lay there stunned by the fall olase to the ingot, and already ablaze and roasting alive, seized a ladder, and thrusting it in an adjoining pit, hurried down, encountering an awkward fall through the ladder suddenly turning round. Recovering himself in an instant, Smith rushed to the rescue, and stepping into the inner pit,, that is, the space immediately surrounding the bottom of the ingot (a step down of 3ft aud a width from wall to ingot of only 2ft Sin), speedily picked up his mate, and succeeded in carrying him into the next pit, whence he was able, by the assistance of other work men, to get him up the ladder. Then John Smith lay down, and was afterwards carried in a dazed state to the infirmary. When I add that Stanley was a heavy, robust man, and the sailor a man of only about nine stone in weight, and that he entered the pit with scarcely any clothing on, and with his shirt sleeves rolled up, it will, perhaps, be possible for your readers to form some idea of what this brave man must have endured. Poor Stanley died a few days after a sadly unrecognisable object to those who had known him best. John Smith, who was exposed to the heat for only a few seconds’ less time than Stanley, is doing fairly well, though ho is very severely burned about the arms and hands.”
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True Heroism., Evening Star, Issue 7982, 10 August 1889, Supplement
True Heroism. Evening Star, Issue 7982, 10 August 1889, Supplement
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