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Bangor, ME Charcoal Pit Explosion, Dec 1890


An Acre of Ground Covered by Debris from a Charcoal Pit.

There was a big blow out at the charcoal pit of Mr. Fred Cort, at Glenburn, Tuesday, and the air was full of debris for a short time. At the time of the explosion the pit was full of wood, which had been burning about an hour according to the process of making it into charcoal. Suddenly there was a loud explosion, and the wood pit and everything in the vicinity went into the air. The cause of the explosion is supposed to be the gas which had collected and suddenly expanded being unable to find its way out of the vent hole which however, was open. The force of the explosion may be judged from the fact that the debris was scattered over nearly and acre of ground while the big, heavy iron door of the pit was thrown twenty rods. Mr. George Richards was tending the pit at the time and had a remarkable escape from injury. When the explosion occurred he was standing near the door with a hoe in his hand. The door struck him a heavy blow, but he was so near that he did not receive its full force. As (ineligible) he was considerably bruised but fortunately escaped without receiving any further injuries. The hoe which he carried in his hand was carried off some distance.

The pit was built of brick, 16,000 of which were required in its construction and it held ten cords of wood. It was seventeen and one half feet in height and sixteen feet wide at the bottom. The loss is placed by Mr. Cort at $200. He will rebuild at once and will be ready in three weeks to resume business. Mr. Cort supplies many customers with charcoal in the city and the explosion makes quite a loss for him not only in the destruction of his pit but in the delay to his business. It was very fortunate that nobody was injured as the explosion was a heavy one.

Bangor Daily Whig and Courier, Bangor, ME 11 Dec 1890

article | by Dr. Radut