§ SIR THOMAS DEWAR (Tower Hamlets, St. George's)
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will state the number of accidents reported by the police during the last three years as having occurred in the streets of the Metropolis through gas escaping into a telegraph inspection chamber and coming into contact with leakage in an electric wire; and will he state whether such accidents are brought under the notice of the Postmaster-General with a view to the insulation of the electric wires, or such other preventive measures as may be deemed prudent.
(Answered by Mr. Secretary Akers-Douglas.) During the three years ending on 31st December, 1904, the Metropolitan police reported six explosions as having been caused by gas escaping into a telegraph inspection chamber and coming into contact with a leakage in an electric wire; and a seventh case, in which a similar explosion of gas in a telegraph inspection chamber was supposed to have been caused by a lighted match. In addition to these seven cases, the police reported twenty-three similar accidents in which explosions occurred through the accumulation of gas in electric light or supply boxes. It is the duty of the police to report such accidents at once to the Post Office authorities or to the electric supply companies, as the case may be.