Further inquiries respecting the shocking accident at Wednesfield go to show that it was due to the reckless use of explosives.
The men, Arthur Watkins and Arthur Edwards, who are miners employed at a colliery in the Wednesfield district, in company with Edwin Mattocks, went to the canal side for the purpose of “fishing” with gelignite cartridges.
Watkins, it is said, was holding the cartridge in his hand, and was endeavouring to fix the cap with a knife. The cartridge exploded, with the result that Watkins and the other two men, who were looking on, were badly injured.
Neither of them have sufficiently recovered to be able to give any explanation of the matter.
The violence of the explosion was indicated by the fact there was a large pool of blood on the canal side, and a portion of Watkins’s hand was also found there.
The Manchester Courier and Lancashire General Advertiser, December 27, 1900.