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The Dynamite Tragedy at Uralla.

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The Armidale Express and New England General Advertiser, Friday 11 Sep 1896

The Dynamite Tragedy at Uralla.

On Tuesday forenoon Coroner Roman held an inquest as to the cause of death of Raymond Duncombe, the victim of the sickening dynamite explosion. The jury having viewed the body, the following evidence was taken.

Constable Clark stated: On Sunday afternoon, 6th inst., between 2 and half past 2, from information, I went to John McGinty’s house, Armidale-street, and there saw Raymond Duncombe lying on a bed suffering from wounds, which I believe to have been caused by some explosive; then examined the lad, and found a large T-shaped wound in the abdomen; the stomach and portions of the intestines were protruding; the left hand was blown off at the wrist, and the forefinger of the right hand shattered below the knuckle; he was bleeding very much ; he had some slight abrasions on the face; Dr. Williams arrived, and took deceased in charge as medical attendant; then Dr. Pring came and assisted Dr. Williams ; I produce a complete dynamite detonator, which was found where I was told the accident occurred; this morning I identified the body of Raymond Duncombe, the subject of this inquest; I now produce a piece of jagged metal like copper, handed me by one of the doctors, which was taken from deceased’s body.

Clarence Faint stated: I am eight years old; live with my mother and father; know a place called Lynch’s, near my father’s place; our yard is divided by one fence from it; I remember last Sunday afternoon; left my home about not a minute after dinner, and went into a closet in Lynch’s yard; my brother Garnet was with me; when I got there I found a tin with some brass things in it—like a blacking-tin—up in the brick wall; some of the bricks were out, and the tin was in one of the holes; the things I found in the tin were similar to the caps produced, only not bent; eight were in the tin; then I gave one to our baby, who was with us ; then left the closet and went into the bushes near the Church of England schoolhouse; Garnet, my brother, went with me; saw Ray Duncome there, and he said, “Give them to me,” and I said,” ” I won’t unless you give me something for them; he said, “I won’t give you anything for them,” and he took them from me; my brother had a pocketknife, and Ray took it from him, and he held six cartridges in his hand and a seventh in his finger and thumb ; this last one he was picking with a pocketknife, and it went off like a gun; then I could not see, but felt pains on my face, like stones hitting me in the face; for a time I was blind; then I went home; have seen the dead body of Ray Duncombe down at Mr. Duncombe’s.

William Faint also gave similar evidence.

Dr. M. P. Williams stated: Am a duly qualified medical practitioner at Uralla; I was called on Sunday afternoon last, about half past two, to the residence of Mr. J. McGinty, Armidale-street, Uralla; I saw Ray Duncombe lying on a bed; his left hand was off at the wrist, and his right forefinger was shattered to the second joint; he had a large T-shaped lacerated wound (external) in the abdomen; through this wound portion of the stomach and intestines protruded; shortly after Dr. Pring arrived; we replaced the stomach and intestines after cleaning them; we then sewed up the wound; had a consultation and decided that the boy was too much collapsed owing to injuries to further operate on the hands; we decided to operate on the hands at 10 a.m. next day, providing the condition of the lad could bear it; in the meantime Dr. Wigan was sent for by me to assist in the operation; on the following morning Drs. Wigan, Pring, and myself removed the forearm bone up to about 3in. above the wrist, and the remainder of the forefinger of the right hand; the three of us visited the patient again about two in the afternoon, and Dr. Pring and myself showed Dr. Wigan the wound in the abdomen and then re-dressed it; on going up again at 7 p.m. Dr. Pring informed me that the child had died; have seen the body of Ray Duncombe as he now lies; the piece of jagged copper metal now produced was found in the wound of the abdomen, and handed by me to Constable Clark ; when we returned the stomach and intestines to the abdomen, there was a quantity of blood internally ; I attributed death to collapse, shock, and loss of blood occasioned by injuries which he had received.

James Stuart Duncombe stated: Am a butcher residing in Uralla; have seen the dead body the subject of this inquest, and identify it as that of my son Raymond ; his age was 10½ years; his death occurred at about 6 o’clock yesterday evening; I was present when he died; he left no property.

Senior-constable Harris stated: This morning I forwarded a telegram to the Hillgrove police, requesting them to see a man named Robert Burns, who had formerly occupied the house referred to as Lynch’s house, and to ascertain from him whether he or his father-in-law (whose name is Fry) had ever left any dynamite detonators in or about a closet belonging to the premises; to this I received a wire in reply, and which reads—”Re your wire Robert Burns states that about 8 months ago his father-in-law put some dynamite caps in a tin box on the brickwork of the closet referred to; may have been forgotten.”

This being the evidence, the jury returned this verdict:—”We find that Ray mond Duncombe met his death from injuries received by dynamite caps accidentally exploded by himself. We also wish to say if there is no restriction placed upon them by law, we desire to protest against their being left about in a careless manner,”

—Times.

Written by macalba

April 30, 2018 at 2:17 pm

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