Carneys Point, NJ Gunpowder House Explosion, Apr 1978
GUNPOWDER MIX HOUSE EXPLODES.
Carneys Point, N.J. (UPI) -- An explosion ripped through a gunpowder mix house at Du Pont's Carneys Point Works Monday night, killing at least
two persons and injuring another, a company spokesman said. A fourth worker was reported missing.
The injured man was listed in stable condition at Underwood Hospital in Woodbury with abdominal wounds he suffered when he was struck by flying debris from the blast, a hospital spokeswoman said.
The explosion occurred at 9:06 p.m. in a mix house
where chemicals used to manufacture smokeless gunpowder for sporting rifles is mixed, spokesman Jim Howell said.
A large fire was created by the blast, but local firemen brought it under control in about half an hour.
Howell said 12 men were working on the night shift and it was believed only four were in the immediate area of the blast.
The force of the explosion was felt over a 12-mile area, a police spokesman said. He said the mix house was destroyed.
Area residents said cabinets were blown open, windows rattled and houses shook.
The Daily Intelligencer Doylestown Pennsylvania 1978-04-18
GUNPOWDER MIXING PLANT BLOWS UP.
Carneys Point, N.J. (AP) -- Rescue crews searched
the rubble of a DuPont gunpowder mixing plant today for a worker missing after an explosion killed at least two workers and seriously injured another.
It was the second major explosion in nine years at the plant located near the Delaware Memorial Bridge across the Delaware River from Wilmington, Del.
"The victims were blown apart," said Bob Wygand, Sr., president of the local United Chemical Workers
Wygand described the mixhouse where the explosion occurred as "a mass of rubble."
He said two-thirds of the 150-foot-long, one-story brick building was leveled and five large mixers used in the manufacturing process were destroyed.
The cause of the explosion, which occurred about 9 p.m. in the center of Plant No. 1, was not immediately determined, authorities said.
Company spokesman James Kincaid said the victims and missing were identified at THOMAS RUGERS, 43, of Carneys Point; WINFIELD LUDGE, 52, of Mantua; and JAMES FRETZ, 47, of Woodbury Heights.
In 1969, an explosion killed at least seven people in an outlying storage area of the smokeless powder operation, a company spokesman said.
Kokomo Tribune Indiana 1978-04-18