Isle of Wight Observer December 1 1860
Accident in the Strand
An accident occurred on the Strand on Friday afternoon at a house in the course of erection by Mr Meader. It appears that four labourers, each carrying a hod of stones, ascended the scaffolding in immediate succession, and were standing in a cluster waiting to disburden themselves of their loads, when a putlog that supported the boards on which they were standing snapped asunder and precipitated them below on a heap of scraggy unhewn stones. A mason who also stood on the boards was fortunate enough to grasp a course of stone which projected from the wall to form a moulding, and hung there until assistance was rendered him. The other four fell, but were almost miracously saved from any serious injuries, escaping with a few bruises about the head and the body, which at the worst will only keep them out of work for a week or so. The height of the scaffold from the ground at the spot where they fell is about 25 feet, a distance one would think sufficient in itself to cause greater injuries than in this case were sustained, for when we look at the heap of stones on which they fell, the stones, boards, poles, hods, &c., that came down with and upon them, it is perfectly astonishing that they escaped with life at all. Their hods were smashed and split up like laths, as were some of the boards from the weight of stones that fell upon them. The putlog, it seems, was by no means decayed, but at the place where it snapped the grain was curly through a knot running near it, and thus its breaking is easily accounted for. No provision can be made for such accidents, although Mr Meaderin erecting this scaffold was particularly careful, as he always has been, never once having had an accident before.