Hot Springs, AR Poolroom Explosion, Dec 1902



Hot Springs, Ark., Dec. 25. -- WILLIAM HELWIG and JOE KENNEY, both of Hot Springs, victims of yesterday's pool room explosion, died during the night. Thus far these are the only fatalities recorded, although four more victims are likely to die. These are:
SAMUEL LIVINGSTON, Palmer House, Chicago, knee sprained.
A. D. BRANCHER, Leadville, Ill., subject to rheumatism, ill from exposure.
MRS. M. S. ROGERS, Chicago, left knee sprained and bruised.
M. M. MERRY, Bloomington, wrenched and bruised.
E. J. HARPER, hip sprained.
BEN ECKERT, 333 East Ninth Street, hand prained and wrenched.
H. H. GLENDON, baggageman, Chicago, leg sprained and bruised.
H. E. HUMPHREYS, conductor, Chicago, bruised and sprained.
WILLIAM P. LENNING, engineer, Bloomington, hurt internally, serious.
JOHN RIORDAN, fireman, Bloomington, bruised.
The explosion wrought dreadful havoc to the pool room, which was located in the rear of the Turf Exchange. The house stands on Central Avenue in the heart of the city. When the explosion occurred the pool room was crowded with people and all went down in mass of wreckage.
R. C. CHAMBERS, one of the proprietors of the club, had both legs and both wrists broken. The bones were set last night and today it is believed he will recover.
J. F. BURCH of Chicago sustained a broken leg and is seriously injured.
BENJAMIN MURRAY, the driver of a gasoline tank wagon, who was arrested and charged with criminal negligence, made a statement this morning. He said he made a connection from his wagon to the gasoline tank in the cellar under the pool room. Upon entering the cellar he found twenty or thirty gallons of gasoline overflowed in a large pool on the floor. Fearing an explosion he rushed to an open window and closed it. He says the door was then opened by a negro porter and the gases coming into contact with the lighted cigars in the pool room ignited, and the explosion followed. MURRAY was blown against the side of the cellar but escaped with slight injuries.
All the injured are receiving the best of treatment. The large staff of physicians of the city have volunteered their services and are looking after the wants of the unfortunate victims.
Charales Walker, the partner of Mr. Chambers, stated today that the wrecked portion of the building will be rebuilt at once. He, with several employes, was on the second floor when the explosion occurred, but all escaped to the street in safety.

Oakland Tribune California 1902-12-25