appeared in Acton Free Press (Acton, ON), 16 Apr 1908, p. 2, column 2
- Full Text
A TERRIBLE FATAL ACCIDENT.
John Moffat Hurled to Instant Death
in a Tannery Elevator Shaft.
LARGE FUNERAL ON SATURDAY.
About nine o'clock last Thursday morning news was received up town of a terrible accident at the sole leather tannery of Messrs. Beardmore & Co., by which John Moffat, an employee, was instantly killed.
The particulars of the accident are very harrowing. Deceased was engaged at his usual duties of conveying sides of leather from the drying loft to the basement. He had ascended to the sixth floor on the elevator hoist with his truck and proceeded down one of the areas for his load. The hoist was not fitted with the modern automatic gates like those attached to the elevators in the other tannery, and he evidently overlooked the rule to put down the protecting bar before leaving the hoist. In the meantime the hoist was lowered by another employee to be used at one of the other flats. The unfortunate victim returned with his load and appears to have walked backwards and pulled the truck to the shaft opening, and, expecting the hoise to be where he left it, stepped backward into the empty shaft. He fell between fifty and sixty feet and his body struck the cable beam of the car with an awful impact, and then dropped to the floor beneath. Death was instantaneous, and, when the extent of the injuries sustained is known this is not to be wodnered at. His skull was crushed in; his left hip fractured, and several ribs broken and protruded through the side. In falling the poor fellow had evidently clutched at the loaded truck as half a dozen sides of the leather fell down with him.
Coroner Ault was advised of the accident and decided that an inquest was desirable. The following jury was empanelled: C. C. Henderson, foreman, John Harvey, Jas. R. Anderson, W. R. Kenney, W. Williams, Wellington Smith, Reeve Swackhamer, W. M. Cooper, Geo. Super, J. H. Read, W. H. Denny and A. T. Brown.
The jury viewed the remains and then adjourned until Friday evening. At the Friday evening session evidence was given by the following witnesses; John Dunn, foreman at the tannery; T. E. Price, Kenneth Morton, James Bowie and Geo. Hawthorne. The evidence went to show that it was not unusual to remove the elevator from any one flat while the last one using it was at work elsewhere; that the usual signal had been given when it was removed from the floor where the deceased was working; and that it was a rule impressed upon every employee using the hoist that he should lower the bar across the opening before leaving it. Crown Attorney Dick questioned the witnesses and adduced the foregoing facts, and also that the hoist was not equipped with automatic gates as required by stature.
The session was a lengthy one and it was midnight when the jury filed in and gave the following verdict: "That John Moffat while in the performance of his duties at the works of Beardmore & Co., in the village of Acton, did come to his death accidentally casually, and by mischance, by falling down an insufficiently protected hoist-way from the sixth flat to the first flat in the said works, and from bodily injuries resulting therefrom and not otherwise."
Deceased was the only son of Mr. and Mrs. James Moffat and resided with his parents on Main Street. He was in his forty-third year and unmarried. He was born in Nassagaweya and came to Acton several years ago. He was highly esteemed and his parents and sisters feel his terribly sudden death very keenly indeed. Deepest sympathy is extended them by the entire community.
The funeral on Saturday afternoon was very largely attended. The fellow-employees of the deceased attended in a body, as did also the members of the Sons of Scotland, of Acton, and the Chosen Friends, of Nassagaweya, in both of which societies he was a member. The service was conducted by Revs. J. C. Wilson, B.A., Acton, and A. Blair, B.A., Nassagaweya, both of whom spoke tender words of sympathy and consolation to the bereaved family.
It is said that deceased who had spent a year or two at the tannery, had given the firm notice that Thursday was to be his last day in their employ. He intended going farming during the summer.
Some eight or nine years ago Howard Masalas was seriously injured in this same hoist, but at that time the accident occurred through the cable giving way.
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- 16 Apr 1908
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