Wilmington, DE DuPont powder mill explosion, Dec 1864

The Explosion at Dupont's Powder Mills.

PHILADELPHIA, Friday, Dec. 16.

The explosion yesterday at Wilmington took place among the buildings in HAGLEY'S yard of DUPONT'S powder-mills. Six buildings were demolished and the lives of ten workmen lost. We are unable to ascertain the names of the victims. The residence of Mrs. ALEXIS DUPONT was badly shattered. No one of the family was injured.

The New York Times, New York, NY 17 Dec 1864
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The Explosion at Dupont's Mills.

DUPONT'S MILLS, Del., Dec. 16 - An explosion occurred on Thursday morning in one of the press houses of the Hagley Works, at DUPONT'S powder mills. Several small buildings near the press house were also blown up. Ten men, of whom four were employees at the mills, were instantly killed. Their names are John Dougherty, Edward O'Donnell, Thomas Hennessy, Michael Deary, Cornelius Carr, Michael Haslett, Dennis Collins, Patrick Deary, Thomas Gill and Charles O'Neal.

The Philadelphia Inquirer, Philadelphia, PA 17 Dec 1864
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Dupont Powder Mills Explosion.

The explosion of the Dupont Mills at Wilmington, Delaware, on the 15th inst., were the most terrific and destructive of life for some years. Three of the mills engaged in making Government powder were blown to atoms. Other buildings were very much injured, and ten men were instantly killed, torn to fragments. An account says:

"It may be cited as an evidence of the terrible force of the explosion, that great heavy beams were lifted up like rushes to the air, whirled distances, sometimes, of over 300 feet, and imbedded so deep in the ground, frozen hard as flint, as to stand firmly on end. Great hollows were scooped in the ground by the mere concussion, seemingly, and timbers scattered in profusion over the fields around. Not a vestige of some of the exploded mills remained, save the foundation walls and scarred earth. The heat generated by the sudden ignition of such a large quantity of powder was so sudden and so intense as to char great trees in a twinkling - the moist green bark burning readily as tinder, but coming to burn when the last rumble of the roar of the explosion had died away. The windows of the surrounding country were, of course, damaged much. In Christ Church (Episcopal) every pane was crumbled, and in the house of Mrs. Alexis Dupont, which is situated one hundred and fifty feet from the scene of disaster, the glass was shattered so violently that some of the family were cut by the flying fragments. The house was shaken from roof to foundation and seriously damaged."

The Milwaukee Sentinel, Milwaukee, WI 24 Dec 1864