Nitro, WV Chemical Plant Explosion, Apr 1957
EXPLOSION LEVELS 3-STORY CHEMICAL PLANT; FIVE KILLED.
Charleston, W. Va. (UP) -- An explosion at a Monsanto Chemical Co. plant near here leveled a three-story building Tuesday killing five workmen, injuring four others and unleashing chlorine fumes which forced 1,500 persons to leave their homes.
The blast, of undetermined origin, "blew apart" the building, one of several single-unit structures known as "shells," at the sprawling Monsanto installation at Nitro, W. Va., 15 miles from here.
The building was reduced to rubble.
Four of the injured were in "very critical" condition at Thomas Memorial Hospital and the fifth was listed as serious.
State police ordered more than 1,500 persons to leave their homes when the chlorine fumes spread from the wrecked building after the blast.
Company firemen quickly halted the escape of the gas and the residents later were allowed to return to their homes.
Those killed in the blast were building foreman ELMER PRIDDY, SR., 56; JACK VINTROX, 47;
JOE JOHNSON, 33, and LACY GILBERT, 47, all of Nitro, and MANSFORD QUALLS, 34, of Hurricane, W. Va. GILBERT and QUALLS died in hospitals hours after the blast.
The injured were PAUL MARTIN, 31, Poca, W. Va.; TOM MILLER, 41, Bancroft, W. Va., and TOM SMITH, 33, Eleanor, W. Va., and LACY GILBERT, 47, Nitro, all "very critical," and LIONEL JONES, 41, Poca.
Two WCHS-TV cameramen, BILL KELLY, 22, and DAVE RILEY, 20, were overcome by gas while taking pictures and were admitted to Charleston General Hospital for treatment.
Provo Daily Herald Utah 1957-04-17