Iwilei, HI Gas Explosion, Nov 1906

THREE MEN HURT IN GAS EXPLOSION.

GASMAKER HOPKINS AND TWO JAPANESE HELPERS INJURED BY EXPLODING GAS IN A WASHER AT THE HONOLULU GAS WORKS AT 9 O'CLOCK THIS MORNING - CAUSE OF ACCIDENT CANNOT BE EXPLAINED - WIGHT'S NARROW ESCAPE.

An explosion occurred in the works of the Honolulu Gas Company at Iwilei at 9 o'clock this morning whereby Gasmaker HOPKINS and two Japanese helpers were injured and a dozen others narrowly escaped harm. The condition of HOPKINS and one Japanese is serious.
The explosion occurred in the washer, the apparatus for the purification of the gas and created considerable excitement in the works for a few minutes.
President C. L. Wight of the Gas Company was in the works at the time and was just about to enter the room where the washer is situated and where the explosion occurred when he was startled by the noise of the belching gas and the cries of the injured workmen.
President Wight, talking of the accident to a Star reporter soon after it occurred stated that the cause of the explosion was unknown.
"It is one of those peculiar accidents liable to occur and for which there would seem to be no explanation," said he. "We cannot ascertain what caused the explosion and perhaps may never be able to learn the cause. I was just about to enter the washer room when I heard the explosion. That is practically all I know about it."
"Gasmaker HOPKINS was injured, but not fatally. I think YAMATO, one of the Japanese helpers was hurt. HOPKINS and YAMATO were taken as soon as possible to the Queen's Hospital. We summoned the police patrol at once. The other Japanese who was hurt was injured but slightly and at first he expressed a desire to return to work, but it was thought best to send him to the Japanese hospital."
"The explosion occurred as near as I was able to observe, at 9 o'clock. We expect to have all damage repaired and the works in operation again by noon at the latest. There will be no interference with the service tonight."
The chief engineer, whose name is given as Reid by the employees, curtly refused to discuss the accident informing the reporter that he would give out no information. The chief engineer seemed to be very much excited.
The washer is an appliance for the purification of the gas, for the purpose of extracting the tar from the gas. Ordinary firewood is placed in this apparatus and the gas, passing through, gives to the wood its tar properties, the wood being taken out thickly coated with tar and afterwards used for fuel.
The door of the washer was open at the time of the explosion and it was through this open door that the gas exploded to the injury of the men in line with its fury.
This is the first accident of the kind to be recorded in these islands and it is the first serious accident experienced by the Honolulu Gas Works.
Superintendent Eckart of the Queen's Hospital stated this afternoon that Gasmaker HOPKINS, while not necessarily fatally injured, was in a very serious condition. He is severely burned about the face and neck and there is the possibility that his eye sight may suffer. He was conscious at the time of his being taken to the hospital and was suffering great agony.
YAMATO, the Japanese helper, was also most painfully burned about the face and neck and being conscious when reaching the hospital suffered intensely. Neither HOPKINS nor YAMATO made any statement as to the cause of the explosion. They are in no immediate danger of serious results.

The Hawaiian Star Honolulu Hawaii 1906-11-22