Since the accident at Hartley colliery in 1862, caused by the breaking of the pumping-engine beam, which fell into the shaft and blocked it up, whereby the whole of the men then at work in the mine were starved to death, it has been made compulsory upon mine-owners in the United Kingdom to have two pits for each working, in place of the single one divided by walls or brattices which was formerly thought sufficient.
The ventilation of ends is effected by means of brattices or temporary partitions of thin boards placed midway in the drift, and extending to within a few feet of the face.
In many cases a light but air-proof cloth, specially made for the purpose, is used instead of wood for brattices, as being more handy and more easily removed.
The circulation of air in any given division of the mine is further controlled and its course determined by temporary or permanent partitions, known as brattices, by the erection of stoppings, or by the insertion of doors in the mine passages and by the use of special airways.
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