Wilmington, DE DuPont Powder Mills explosion, Jul 1869

The Powder Mill Explosion Near Wilmington.

The Wilmington (Del.) Commercial of the 2d inst. has the following particulars of the explosion at DUPONT'S Powder-mills near that City early on Thursday morning:

We understand that the first explosion took place in the Eagle granary, which contained four or five tons of Eagle powder. The second explosion was a grinding mill. PETER MASSEY, who was killed, had been in the employ of the Company for thirty years. A wagon with flour, which was just coming out of the yard, about twenty yards from the granary, was broken. The driver and the horse were only slightly injured. Their escape from death seems miraculous. The Henry Clay factory, two or three hundred yards below the Hagley yard, was terribly shattered; there is scarcely a sound window left in it. Very many of the operatives in it were slightly injured by the flying glass and other things that were dashed against them by the force of the explosion. The dwelling-houses, about one hundred yards below the yard, were badly wrecked, walls spring and many of the partitions displaced. Bureaus, stoves and tables were upset, breaking dishes and turning everything in confusion. The plaster was stripped from the ceilings - a bureau was knocked over on the back of a woman, and a window blown in her face; she said she thought she was killed. A woman and four men were at a spring, about fifty yards from the granary; stones and rubbish fell all around them, but they escaped with very trifling injury. The corn in a field back of the mill was completely leveled; a number of houses back of this field were torn almost to pieces. The glass in the windows of many of the farm-houses for some distance is broken and shattered. Some of the people in the neighborhood say the concussion was the greatest they have ever heard; and it is astonishing that the damage to life and limb was not much greater.

The New York Times, New York, NY 5 Jul 1869