Clarendon, AR Seven Drown in Launch COLUMBIA Gas Tank Explosion, May 1908


9 Narrowly Escape Death When Gasoline Tank Exploded.

Memphis, Tenn., May 20.---Seven persons were drowned and nine narrowly escaped death, when the gasoline tank exploded on the launch Columbia eight miles south of Clarendon, Ark.

The dead are:

Miss LILLIAN WINFIELD, of Clarendon, Ark.

Miss ALMA PEETE, of Covington, Tenn.

Miss MATTIE COUNTS, of Clarendon, Ark.

Miss BESSIE PALMER, of Kansas City, Mo.

Miss ALICE BURTON, of Helena, Ark.

JOSEPH McMAUS, of Clarendon, Ark.

D. A. L. HUSTON, of Clarendon, Ark.

One of those rescued, Miss Mary Cavett, of Clarendon, was severely burned. The boat left Clarendon early in the evening bearing a merry party, who had planned to go several miles down the river. When about five miles below Clarendon the tank of the launch exploded, wrecking the boat and hurling the occupants into the river, which at this point, is very deep. Some were stunned by the force of the explosion and went down before the swimmers in the party could make an effort at rescue.

The survivors were found on the river bank by runners dispatched from here because of the prolonged absence of the party.

The boat was a gasoline launch about 30 feet long and capable of seating 20 to 30 persons. It was owned by E. A. Farfer, one of those aboard, and who saved the lives of several of the women of the party. None of the bodies have been recovered.

The Columbus Enquirer-Sun, Columbus, GA 21 May 1908