Waltham, MA Plant Explosion, Mar 1948

TWO MEN KILLED, TWO MISSING IN EXPLOSION.

29 INJURED BY BLAST IN PLASTICS FACTORY AT WALTHAM, MASS.

By The Associated Press.
Waltham, Mass., March 7. -- Two men were killed, two are missing and 29 others injured when a midnight explosion that could be heard for ten miles levelled a plastic factory.
The bodies of the two workmen were removed from the wrecked Interlake Chemical Corp. two-story cement and stucco plant late today as rescuers worked with a power shovel to clear the rubble.
Both bodies were so badly charred they could not be identified immediately.
Search for the two missing men was called off shortly after nightfall. Police and fire officials said they would resume operations at daybreak tomorrow.
State Police Lieut. DANIEL MURPHY said a check of the hospitals and families of all persons employed at the plant showed the following missing and possibly dead:
WILLIAM BRUSHINGHAM, 52, of Auburndale.
LOUIS SCALZI, 23, of Watertown.
NICHOLAS RAMONDI, of Waltham.
ALBERT QUINAN, of Newton.
The explosion and fire left the sprawling plant of the makers of "Makalot" plastic dishes and novelties a seared mass of girders and heavy machinery piled eight feet deep.
Fire Chief B. A. NEAL said apparently most of the survivors were blown clear of the wreckage, some of them 50 feet in the air.
He estimated damage at "about $150,000."
RAYMOND BAKER, JR., 25, one of the injured, said through flame-seared lips:
"I still don't know what happened. There was no warning, like a rumbling or anything like that. Just a terrific noise. The side of the office blew out. I found myself on the floor and crawled outside."
"I don't know what caused the explosion. Perhaps it was plastic dust."

Titusville Herald Pennsylvania 1948-03-08