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Schulze, Peter
North Mount Lyell disaster - a miscarriage of justice
16th Engineering Heritage Australia Conference: Conserving Our Heritage - Make a Difference!
Engineers Australia, Barton, Australian Capital Territory, 2011, pp. 203-216

42 men perished in the North Mount Lyell Mine disaster in 1912 as a result of a fire in an underground pump station. A review of the evidence including the Royal Commission transcripts indicates that there was a miscarriage of justice. The Mount Lyell lawyers and their experts convinced the Royal Commission that electricity couldn't possibly have caused the fire, despite a number of previous electrical fires in the pump station. The Company singled out an employee as a possible arsonist with evidence that does not stand up under scrutiny. Peter's background as an electrical engineer with the Mount Lyell Company for 26 years gave him an understanding of the equipment and the working environment which led him to question the official story. His interest in the topic also arose from his grandfather's involvement in the disaster. For acts of bravery at that time, his grandfather was awarded the Mount Lyell Gold Medal, the Royal Humane Society Silver Medal and Certificate. In the paper Peter will present his understanding of the actual cause of the fire, the escape route taken by some miners who survived and the safety measures which were quietly adopted after the Royal Commission.

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