Shamokin, PA Nitro Glycerine Explosion, Nov 1888

A TERRIFIC EXPLOSION.

NITRO-GLYCERINE EXPLOSION AT SHAMOKIN, PA., CREATES TERRIBLE HAVOC.

Pittsburgh, Nov. 5. - Intelligence has just been received here of the explosion of a nitro-glycerine tank near Shamokin, Pa., a town twenty-two miles from here at an early hour this morning. Great damage was done to surrounding property, but it is not know whether anyone was killed or injured. The magazine belonged to the Torpedo Company of Delaware. The explosion was terrific and was felt twenty-five miles away. Houses and shanties were shattered in the immediate vicinity. At Sewickley, five miles distant, the shock was so heavy that people ran panic-stricken from their homes. It was reported that a large number of persons had been killed and injured, but it is now believed that no one was hurt, although nothing definite is known.
A Chronicle-Telegram special from Shamokin says the cause of the nitro-glycerine explosion is a mystery. It's supposed, however, that a tramp who was seen in the neighborhood, being ignorant of the danger, in some way agitated the stuff and the explosion followed. There were three tons in the magazine, and the concussion shook the very foundations of the houses between Rochester and Pittsburgh. The earth was churned up for a distance of 500 yards. Trees and eighth of a mile away were rent asunder, and many houses were wrecked. The residence of George and William Wilson and Thomas McCoy, situated a half mile away, were completely shattered and the occupants thrown from the windows. Fortunately they were not seriously injured and as far as can be ascertained no one was killed, with the possible exception of the tramp. The loss will be heavy, but cannot now be ascertained.

Coffeyville Weekly Journal Kansas 1888-11-08