Turner, ID Gas Explosion In Mormon Hall, Jan 1927

7 KILLED BY GAS EXPLOSION IN IDAHO.

MORMON HALL WRECKED BY GREAT BLAST.

MORE THAN 200 BASKETBALL FANS NEAR DEATH WHEN TANKS FOR LIGHT SYSTEM EXPLODE.

Turner, Idaho, Jan. 27 -- (AP) -- Six persons were killed and nearly a score injured, 12 seriously, as a result of an explosion of acetylene gas, which wrecked a Mormon chapel and recreation hall here last night while a basketball game was in progress.

About 200 persons had assembled in the one story frame building for a game between the Turner and Central, Idaho, teams. Shortly after play started, the lighting system failed, and witnesses said, some one lighted a match. A terrific explosion followed, wrecking the rear wall.

As the players and spectators started for the only remaining exit at the front of the building, a portion of the ceiling fell, hurling timbers and plaster into the crowd. Before the hall could be cleared the front wall collapsed. Most of the dead and many of the injured were found near this exit.

The body of JAMES McCANN, the janitor, was found in the basement where he had apparently gone to inspect the lighting system tanks.

The bodies of his two sons and his brother, BRIGHAM McCANN, were found near the exit.

Two more bodies were identified as those of ELMER ANDERSON and IRAL LOWE, both members of the Central team. MRS. LOWE and MRS. ANDERSON, who had accompanied their husbands to the game, were injured.

Some of the injured said they were literally blown from the building.

Iowa City Press-Citizen Iowa 1927-01-27

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FINDS INQUEST NOT NECESSARY.

CORONER MAKES HARD TRIP TO INVESTIGATE IDAHO BLAST ACCIDENT.

Grace, Idaho, Jan. 28 -- (AP) -- H. L. McHan, Bannock county coroner, drove 70 miles through two feet of snow to the scene of the explosion which Wednesday night took six lives and seriously injured a large number of persons attending a basketball game in Turner, Idaho.

Mr. McHan stated, after an investigation of the disaster, that no inquest is necessary. Mr. McHan also stated that there had been an error in announcing the number of dead and that six was the correct total. EDWARD McCANN, aged, 9 was erroneously reported to have died.

School in Turner was closed following the calamity that befell the community. During Wednesday night the building was used as an emergency hospital for the injured. The injured were removed Thursday to Grace, and parcelled out among the homes of relatives and friends.

Continued