Collett, William 1885 March 28th Swindon
A shocking death from burning has occurred at New Swindon.
William Collett, a labourer in the Great Western Railway Works, was engaged in levelling a railway embankment. This bank was largely composed of sawdust, shavings and other rubbish, covered with a layer of ashes and clay. This rubbish was liable to ignite from spontaneous combustion, causing surface cracks.
Whilst the deceased was so engaged, one of the surface cracks gave way, letting him in to the mass, which was at the time on fire. When rescued he was frightfully burnt, and expired within a few hours, after suffering fearful agony.
At the inquest on Wednesday the jury expressed the opinion that the occurrence was accidental.