Berkeley Springs, WV Sand Pit Slide And Explosion, June 1926

FIVE KILLED, SEVEN HURT IN SAND BLAST.

PREMATURE EXPLOSION BURIED WORKMEN IN PIT NEAR BERKELEY SPRINGS.

Berkeley Springs, June 7. -- Five men were killed in a premature explosion and seven injured two seriously, when engulfed in a slide of sand which followed the blast at the sand pit of the Berkeley Glass Sand Company, near here late yesterday.
The men killed were:
IRVIN HENRY.
ROMANIA DAWSON.
GEORGE WALLS.
EMORY MILLER.
GEORGE W. MILLER.
Among those hurt was ERNEST NIEMYER, foreman.
The dead men, all of whom leave families, and those injured were residents of Berkeley Springs.
Ordinarily the men who work at the base of the sand bank have ample time to find a place of safety, for a signal is given that a blast is about to be set off at the top of the bank. In this instance, because of the premature explosion, there was no warning and the workmen were trapped by the quick onrush of earth.
The men buried in the sand were quickly removed by other employes and taken to a hospital.
Company officials and county authorities who made a preliminary inquiry, said a further investigation of the accident would be made tomorrow.
The pit was under lease by the sand concern from H. T. Bridges of Hancox, Md.
The explosion occurred as the crew of workmen was tamping the loads into holes for their final shot of the afternoon. The body of EMORY MILLER was literally blown to pieces, while the bodies of HENRY and WALLS were blown to one side. Physicians said DAWSON had probably suffered a broken back.
Doctors from Berkeley Springs and Hancox, Md., gave first aid to the injured before they were taken to a Martinsburg hospital.
The men hurt were included in a force of fifteen working on the side of the pit, which gives employment to about 40 men.

Charleston Daily Mail West Virginia 1926-06-08