Pleasant Prairie, WI Powder Explosion, Mar 1911
POWDER BLAST DESTROYS TOWN.
PROPERTY LOSS OF MILLION AND HALF AND ONE FATALITY.
(By Associated Press)
Pleasant Prairie, Wis., March 9. -- The powder magazines of the Dupont-Nemours Powder company containing 180 tons of finished black powder and dynamite exploded at the plant of the company, one mile northwest of here tonight. One man E. S. THOMPSON, a foreman is known to be dead. MISS ALICE PINCH of Elgin, Ills., dropped dead of heart disease caused by fright. 350 people were injured; several hundred houses in this place were blown completely down or were so badly damaged as to be uninhabitable and buildings ten miles away were badly wrecked.
Chicago, March 9. -- An explosion that wrecked the plant of the Dupont-Nemours Powder company in Pleasant Prairie, Wis., caused the loss of at least one life, destroyed the town in which it was situated and created a vibration that was felt for a radius of fifty miles. The property loss will reach over a million and a half. Chicago was shaken from its most western suburbs to the shore of the lake. The belief that an earthquake had been experienced was almost universal. Windows were shattered and houses shaken throughout Chicago's length.
Explosion In Chicago.
Almost simultaneously, a building of JOHN M. SMITH Co., Madison and Union streets was almost destroyed by an explosion.
The cause of this explosion had not been learned at a late hour but it is believed to have resulted as the effect of the other explosion.
Although Pleasant Prairie is six miles west of Kenosha which is 60 miles north of Chicago, the concussion was heard and the vibrations felt not only in this city but at Indiana Harbor and other points 20 miles south and southwest of here. Two shocks were felt, one extremely severe, one at 8:20 and a slighter one three minutes later.
Communication Cut Off.
Direct communication with Pleasant Prairie was cut off entirely by the explosion and no particulars are available from there as yet. It is known however that the town is almost completely demolished. There were alarming reports that the number of dead was high but later it was learned from Kenosha that only 17 men were at work at the plant at the time and 12 had been accounted for.
Racine received intelligence that the number of dead would reach 40, but this could not be determined with accuracy.
The Sandusky Register Ohio 1911-03-10
Researched and Transcribed by Stu Beitler. Thank you, Stu!