§ Mr. Proctor
(by Private Notice) asked the Minister of Transport whether he has any statement to make regarding the collapse of a railway tunnel in Swinton, Manchester, and the consequent collapse of three houses in Temple Down, Swinton, near Manchester.
The Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Transport (Mr. Gurney Braithwaite)
Yes, Sir. About 5.30 a.m. on Tuesday, 28th April, a short length of the Clifton Hall double line tunnel, near Swinton, collapsed and the ground above it caved in destroying two houses and damaging a third. Five persons were buried in the debris of the houses, and I regret to say that all of them lost their lives; two others were rescued with only slight injuries. The tunnel, which was opened to traffic in 1850, had been closed temporarily for repairs.
An inquiry will be opened in public by an inspecting officer of railways on Friday, 8th May, and the House will 2158 appreciate that I cannot make any further statement at present. The whole House will, I am sure, wish to be associated with an expression of deep sympathy for the relatives and friends of those who lost their lives and with those who were injured.
§ Mr. Proctor
While thanking the hon. Gentleman for his reply—I am sure the whole House will associate itself with him in the expression of sympathy—I should like to ask whether he will make every effort to see that the necessary emergency action is taken to prevent any further collapse of the tunnel, and whether he will urge his colleagues to see that all possible assistance is rendered to those who suffered in this disaster?