Eldred, PA Powder Plant Explosion, Sep 1950

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DEATH TOLL 8 IN POWDER PLANT BLAST.

VICTIMS KILLED OUTRIGHT WHEN NATIONAL POWDER CO. DYNAMITE MIX HOUSE BLOWS UP TODAY.

WINDOWS BROKEN IN TWO-MILE RADIUS.

CAUSE OF EXPLOSION UNKNOWN; NEWSMEN BARRED FROM PLANT NEAR ELDRED, PA., 5 OR 6 EMPLOYES HURT.

By Associated Press.
Eldred, Pa., Sept. 12. -- A terrific explosion ripped apart a dynamite mix house at the National Powder Company today, killing eight men outright.
The eight men killed were:
CARL FITZGERALD, 30, Duke Center.
CHARLES YORK, 22, Duke Center.
ROBERT J. WALKER, 47, Duke Center.
HARRY NELSON, 59, Duke Center.
EUGENE SHEPARD, 24, Eldred.
JAMES M. SILVIS, 30, Eldred.
COOLEY A. SHERWOOD, 34, Shinglehouse.
EARL T. LOGUE, 26, Austin.
Five or six other employees were hurt slightly.
"At first I thought the whole town blew up," said one resident. "Windows broke everywhere."
The blast was heard 10 miles away and shattered windows of houses within a two-mile radius of the plant.
Company officials refused to admit newsmen or photographers to the plant grounds.
National Powder is Eldred's largest industry. The plant is located two miles from the little community near the New York border.
Hundreds rushed to the area upon hearing the blast at 7:30 a.m. CST.
The mix house where ingredients of high explosives are put together was in ruins. Company secretary T. T. Cook reported several nearby buildings were damaged.
"We have no idea what caused the explosion," stated Cook.
"We're still not sure just who was killed. The injured men are not badly hurt. They were treated at the plant for surface cuts by our plant doctor."
"We're on guard against explosions like this and we have given every possible aid to the injured."
"We called extra doctors in right away. Workers unaffected by the explosion were cleared from the plant grounds."

Mt. Vernon Register News Illinois 1950-09-12