Emporium, PA Powder Works Explosion, July 1916

ELEVEN MEN KILLED.

Explosion in Aetna Works at Emporium Saturday.

Eleven men were killed Saturday at the Aetna Powder Works at Emporium when 75,000 pounds of smokeless powder exploded. It is claimed by workmen of the plant that the accident was caused by the desire of the company to rush the powder through to completion before it had sufficiently dried, as immense orders were waiting to be filled.
Two Willliamsport young men, RUFUS TYLER, aged 22 years, and RANDOLPH IRION, aged 19 years, were among the victims. Neither is married. TYLER was killed outright and young IRION died Sunday morning.
The list of the dead is as follows:
H. F. LEWIS, of Austin, unmarried; ALBERT NELSON, Ludlow, unmarried; OTTO TOWNER, Emporium, married, with wife and child; FRANK CLINTON, Costello, unmarried; RUFUS TYLER, unmarried; GEORGE HOBART, Emporium, unmarried, all killed instantly; ORION JAMES, of Cogan House died en route to Williamsport hosppital[sic]; RICHARD ERICKSON, Kersey, unmarried; GEORGE BLOSE, Emporium, died Saturday night; RANDOLPH IRION, Williamsport, died Sunday morning; WILLIAM PYE, Emporium, died Sunday evening at 8:30 o'clock, leaves wife and family.

The Wellsboro Agitator Pennsylvania 1916-07-05

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11 KILLED IN POWDER FLASH AT EMPORIUM.

Emporium, Pa., July 3 -- Eleven men are dead as the result of the explosion of 75,000 pounds of smokeless powder in dry house No. 2 of the Aetna Explosives company here, Saturday afternoon, at 2:45 o'clock. Six of the men were instantly killed, one died enroute to the Williamsport hospital and four died at the hospital. The train carring the suffering men was held up two hours above Renovo by a wreck.
The dead are: H. F. LEWIS of Austin, unmarried; ALBERT NELSON, Ludlow, unmarried; OTTO TOWNER, Emporium, married, with wife and child; FRANK CLINTON, Costello, unmarried; RUFUS TYLER, unmarried; GEORGE HOBBART, Emporium, unmarried, all killed instantly; ORION JAMES, of COgan House, died enroute to Williamsport hospital; RICHARD ERICKSON, Kersey, unmarried; GEORGE BLOSE, Emporium, died about 11:45 Saturday night; RANDOLPH IRION, Williamsport, died yesterday morning at 2:30 o'clock; WILLIAM PYE, Emporium, died last evening at 8:30 o'clock, leaves wife and family.

Cause Not Known.
Officials at te[sic] powder mill refused to give out any information regarding the explosion, referring all inquiries to the New York office of the company.
It is not known what caused the explosion. The building in which it occurred was a one-story structure, about half a mile outside of Emporium. It burned to the ground in a few minutes. The fire spread to adjoining buildings, but was quickly under control.
A crew of 14 men, under the direction of MR. PYE, who was the foreman in charge, had been ordered to go to dry house No. 2 at 2:45 o'clock on Saturday afternoon and transfer some smokeless powder to the blending house. Eleven of the crew had entered the building and the other three were in the doorway when there came an explosion which unroofed the building and sent the men inside down scorched and bleeding, while a solid wall of flame 20 feet high shot out of the door and through the windows, which were shattered to bits. The three men in the door were caught in the same and thir[sic] clothing was almost burned from their bodies, but it is not believed that they are seriously injured.
It was a terrible scene for the next few minutes. Fire followed the explosion and the doomed building was a mass of flames. The bodies of the six dead men and the five wounded were taken out with the utmost difficulty. All were so terribly burned that it was realized almost at once that it was next to hopeless to save life.

The McKean Democrat Smethport Pennsylvania 1916-07-06