The Last Canary

Passing out of the pit canary?

The humble canary, centuries old friend of Britain's miners in times of danger, looks like being knocked off his perch by the micro chip revolution.

What's ruffled his feathers is a new experimental gadget designed to replace his job of "sniffing out" lethal carbon monoxide fumes underground.

The National Coal Board has at least two canaries at each of its 219 collieries. They pass out when they smell gas, but are quickly revived by oxygen.

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