Romeo, IL Dynamite Explosion, Dec 1895

DEATH BY DYNAMITE.

TWO MEN KILLED AND SEVEN INJURED ON THE BIG CANAL.

Chicago, Dec. 24. -- Two men were instantly killed and seven severely injured Monday afternoon by an explosion of dynamite on section 14 of the drainage canal. The accident occurred 1 1/2 miles southwest of Romeo, Wolf county.
The dead are JAMES McKNIGHT and DANIEL McALLISTER.
The injured are GEORGE McFITRICK, JOHN McFITRICK, BARNEY O'ROURKE, HUGH O'ROURKE, LOUIS KEARNEY, JOHN MICHUE
and MICHAEL HARRISON. The mangled remains of the dead were removed to Chamberlain's morgue at Lockport. The injured were taken to St. John's hospital at Joliet.
The accident occurred at Smith & Eastman's camp, and was the result, it is said, of carelessness on the part of John Bowen, who prematurely exploded a blast while a gang of 50 men were at work in the bed of the big channel. Bowen had prepared for a blast by placing the electrical machine used in exploding dynamite in the bed of the ditch to test the machine. He inserted an explosive cap and turned away for a moment. Turning back he pulled the lever and there was a terrific explosion, as one after another the charges of dynamite placed along the face of the rock were exploded.
When the smoke had cleared away it was found that two men had been killed outright and seven more were suffering from broken limbs and mangled bodies. It was found necessary to amputate the right leg of JOHN MICHUE below the knee. All were badly hurt.
The foreman, Richard Powers and John Bowen were then taken into custody by the drainage police and placed in the lock-up at Romeo, where they are held pending the action of the coroner's inquest, which will be held this morning at 10 o'clock at Romeo.

Logansport Reporter Indiana 1895-12-24