(from our own correspondent.)
July 27th. A most disastrous flood, accompanied by serious loss of life, has again devastated this district. The River Arrow began to rise early on Saturday, evidently from the effect of the snow melting on the mountains, which was seen to be rapidly disappearing even from the highest peaks. The heavy rain which came down in a solid sheet of water from noon on Saturday to late on Saturday'morning, naturally increased the mischief, and by 2 a.m. a fearful torrent was rushing down the Gorge. The Flat was entirely submerged, and the whole of the mining works now in progress utterly ruined. The Hit-or-Miss Company are again great sufferers, and the large wheel just completed by Gordon and Co. has been carried off entire—not a splinter remaining. The water encroached upon the Lower Township to so serious an extent as to cause a general exodus of the inhabitants ; nor was this apprehension without cause, for about 2 o'clock a.m. The Shamrock Hotel and the stores adjacent were undermined and flooded, and became perfect wrecks. The Bush Creek rose suddenly to a most alarming height. Miners and others encamped sixteen feet or more above the bed of the stream had to run for their lives, and three unfortunate men engaged as sawyers, some two miles up, lost their lives. The report of the Inquest held to-day will give every information as to this most melancholy accident, which has spread a general gloom over the township.
An inquest was held at the Arrow on July 27th, before R. Beetham, Esq., Coroner, and a jury of thirteen. George Pullen examined. —I am a sawyer, residing at the Arrow. I recollect Sunday morning. About 2am. I heard a crash; it sounded as if a quarter of a mile distant above the tent I was then in. I was living with my three mates in a tent up the Bush Creek about two miles ; we were lying side by side. We were employed sawing timber for the Provincial Government. When I heard the crash, I jumped up out of bed. I recollect seeing my mates rush up at the same time away from the tent. As we were rushing away, I was struck by the water, and swept down the current. I never saw my mates again; the last time I saw them was when they were rushing out of the bed when we heard the report. The names of my mates were John Brous, John Brown ; the other one I only knew as Fred. I was struggling with the current and logs about me; with great difficulty I got on to the bank. After I had got out on the bank I was there about an hour; I heard a man groaning. Called out to him, and asked him where he was, but the rush of the water was so strong I could not understand what he said in answer. I stayed where I was until daylight, when I went and found ay mate. He was lying on a terrace, with his body out, and stones and logs on his legs. I did all I could to get him out, but could not. I went straightway down to the foot of the hill, where two men were encamped, and told them, and they went away at once to rescue him. I then came down to the township, and sent information to the police. I have seen the two bodies at the Camp; I recognise them as John Brous and John Brown. I have not seen my mate I knew as Fred.
By Mr. Richmond.—Our tent was about 18 feet above the level of the creek; we were swept out of our beds. The rush of water was sudden; it must have been dammed up above and burst through suddenly. There is no doubt my other mate is drowned. Detective Barrett. —Between 9 and 10 a.m. yesterday, I received information that two men had been drowned in the Bush Creek, and one man was entangled amongst wood and rocks. I instantly proceeded, with two constables and other men, to the place indicated. I saw the body of a man dead on the bank of the creek; it was John Brous. I went on further, about a quarter of a mile up the creek, and saw a man in a very dangerous state wrapped in blankets ; his name v. as John Brown. I gave directions to have a stretcher made as quickly as possible. The man's head was covered with mud, and his legs apparently broken. We bathed his tem-
pies with water, and he seemed to revive a little; he then asked for a drink of water, which was given him. We then got him on the stretcher, and carried him along carefully. We cameTalong about three-quarters of a mile, when I discovered he was dead. We then took the body to the Camp, where it now lies. Dr. Douglas.—l have examined the bodies of the two deceased men lying at the Camp. I find that one has sustained fracture of both femurs, a wound striking the pubis, and penetrating deeply in front of it, and slight injuries of the head; the surface of the body is unnaturally pale. From the wounds and appearances, I consider that died from the shock the system had received. In the other case I found one large wound penetrating to the occipital bone, a wound over each eye, the bone beneath one of which was splintered; the surface of the body had a congested appearance; the mouth was full of water; the extremities were wrinkled, hands clenched, and one of them held a small quantity of grass. From these appearances, I consider that the man died from drowning, while in a state of insensibility by the injuries to the head. Verdict. —Deceased were accidentally killed by a sudden rush of water down the Bush Creek, on the morning of Sunday, the 26th inst.
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THE ARROW., Lake Wakatip Mail, Volume I, Issue 26, 29 July 1863
THE ARROW. Lake Wakatip Mail, Volume I, Issue 26, 29 July 1863
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