Five men were put into one of the cells in our City Prison last week in a state of intoxi cation, and four of them died. The cell was flxamined and the doctor reported that it was healthy, and that the state of the prisoners, not th cell, had everything to do with their deaths. Others did not think.that the report of tha deetayBjras correct, but believed that bhe state of the cell was accessory to their deaths. An exchange has the folio win); on the subject: Yesterday, the District Attorney, accom panied by Dr. Chilton, the eminent chemist, visited that prison, and tested the condition of the cell in which the unfortunate men were confined. Upon examination, they discover ed the presence of carbonic acid gas, of fiiffi cient strength to set on fire a liquid which was placed on the floor of the cell. The whole affair has been placed in the hands of the Grand Jury, who will probably remain in session until to-morrow morning. In the meantime, Dr. Covil and Dr. Chilton will be summoned before the inquest, and some action will be taken respecting the erection of a pri son in a more healthy part of the city. The action ot the Grand Jury in the matter will be given in their presentment." How the carbonic acid gas could have set fire to any liquid whatever is more than we can divinm The discovery that carbonic gas can Eet fire to a liquid is one of the wonders of the age, as carbonic acid gas extinguishes fire. On the next day after which the above ex tract appeared the same paper said in refer ence to the same matter, that " when a stone of the floor was raised a stream of carbonic acid gas which had been generated under neath rushed out and extinguished the flame of some alcohol." No apology was made for the first blunder. In all likelihood the gas was either carburetted or sulpho-carbnretted hydrogen generated below tlie prison which stands on the site of an old pond.
This article was originally published with the title "Deaths in the City Prison"