Swissvale, PA Nitro-Glycerine Explosion, May 1925
ALL BODIES ARE NOW IDENTIFIED.
EIGHT VICTIMS OF THE EXPLOSION AT SWISSVALE.
ARE TERRIBLY BURNED.
(By the Associated Press.)
Pittsburgh, Pa., May 6 -- At the county morgue today Albert J. Jeremias, identified the bodies of eight persons who were killed in an explosion in Swissvale, a suburb, early this morning. All the victims of the blast were his relatives. The bodies were terribly burned and identification in some instances was made possible only by teeth fillings, rings or bits of clothing.
The dead are:
CLEMENT JEREMIAS and wife.
CARL KEKLER and wife.
CARL BALDUS and wife.
MISS MARIE KOTHE.
RICHARD BALDUS, aged seven.
Investigation of the cause of the explosion, which resulted in property damage estimate at $400,000 to $500,000 was under way before the last body had been removed from the ruins. Four buildings were destroyed and others nearby damaged.
County detectives assigned to the investigation late today held to their first theory that the blast was caused by a bomb charged with dynamite or nitro-glycerine. The destruction wrought was over too wide an area, they said, to have been caused by exploding gas. Detectives found a section of copper wire, such as is used in wrapping the exterior of time bombs, buried under a mass of debris.
Detectives tonight were investigating reports that the explosion may have resulted from a Black Hand plot, but they said there were no tangible clues to fix the responsibility. Rumors that Tom Pusatere, owner of one of the wrecked building, had received letters threatening his life unless he paid money to a Black Hand organizatioin were tonight discrdited by investigators.
The bodies of the eight victims were in a Swissvale chapel tonight, buried under a mass of flowers. One funeral service for all will be held Saturday afternoon. The ministers who will conduct the services have not been selected.
HELEN BALDUA, aged 10, the only member of her family to escape alive, is in a hospital with a fractured leg and other injuries. Late tonight she had not been informed that her father, mother and brother were killed.
Bradford Era Pennsylvania 1925-05-07