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TERRIBLE CATASTROPHE.

REPORTED L 033 OF FORTY LIVES BY AN

AVALANCHE,

Rumors of a very painful character reached town last evening, to the effect that a great loss of life-had been occasioned on a branch of the Dunstan diggings, bj the sudden fall of an immense mass of aceuniu- • Jafced snow. On instituting enquiries to ascertain the truth or otherwise of this report, we ware favored by Mr. Branigan, the Chief Commissioner of Police, with a copy of the following official communication, which we are permitted to use :— ■"'■'■■■ Halfway-House, 16th August, 1863. Dunsfan Escort. Sir, —I regret to report that when at the Deep Creek, on the lath inst., I was informed by a p:ttty of nine miners, whose name^appearmthema.-gin (John Tipping, Thos. Blair, Cnas. Uterk, Samuel Harass, Geo. Bonhain, — James, Robert B!igh, James Abercrombie), that an accident of a fearful and most melancholy nature took place at the head of tin Serpentine Gully, situated 10 miles from the Black Ball Hotel, the ; particulars of which are as follows: —John Tippings and his mates, together with some orty miners, were working in a small gully at the • head of the Serpc-ntine. Their tents were pitched immediately under a huge c'iff or bank. On the ' morning of the 14th inst, an immense snow drift., which had formed on the top of th* cliff, fell upon the tents, completely covering nil of them. Tipping* t?nt being situated farther from the cliff than those ' of the others, he and his mates, after great difficulty, managed to effect their escape. After several vain - attempts to rescue the unfortunate inniat§§?£tiie other ■ tents who, they state. j^—gSTSTetTwith some 40 or 50 feet of snowj&efvrere obliged to desist. When _^theyarrivg^atthe Deep Creek, some seven mile 3 Serpentine, two of their number were terribly prostrated. I have also to report that I left ■ Constable Finnigan at the Upper Taieri Station with instructions to proceed without delay to the scene of the accident, and if he found the statements of the miners correct, upon finding any of the bodies,to.communicate immediately witu Mr Bailey. I have the honor to be, &o. (Signed) Gilbert P. Percy, Sub-Inspector. St. John Branigan, Esq., '; Commissioner of Police, Dunedin.

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Permanent link to this item

https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/ODT18630818.2.23

Bibliographic details

TERRIBLE CATASTROPHE., Otago Daily Times, Issue 518, 18 August 1863

Word Count
364

TERRIBLE CATASTROPHE. Otago Daily Times, Issue 518, 18 August 1863

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