4 NOVEMBER 1882, Page 3

A horrible and novel accident occurred to the Midland Scotch

express on Sunday. After the train left Normanton, the Pullman sleeping-car, with four passengers in it, was discovered to be on fire. An effort was made to stop the train by signal- ling the driver, but it failed ; and when at length it was stopped, by signal from a station where the fire bad been noticed, the car was full of flames, and one of the passengers, Dr. Arthur, of Aberdeen, was found to be burned to death. At the inquest, three theories have been offered of the fire,—one, that the stove became superheated, and ignited some of the drapery about ; another, that Dr. Arthur was stupidly drunk, and lighted a cigar in bed ; and a third, that a reading-lamp carried by- a passenger, Mr. Cranston, set. fire to the curtains. No conclusive or very suggestive evidence has yet been offered for either theory, and the only point certain is that either these cars should be warmed by hot-water pipes, and lighted by elec. tricity, or that they should be much better watched. The latter is the better plan, for although the excessive draught makes flame travel quickly, fire can hardly break out if an attendant is awake and active ; and no rule would, in an unwatched carriage, prevent the use of fuses. Smokers will smoke in a powder magazine, and never believe that either faeces or cigars can set fire to anything.