Los Angeles, CA Building Explosion, Oct 1930
50 MAIMED AS EXPLOSION SHATTERS BIG L.A. BUILDING; POLICE BLAME PLOTTERS.
STRUCTURES IN FIVE BLOCKS DAMAGED AS WINDOWS BREAK, CRUMBLING WALLS HURT FACTORY WORKERS.
VICTIMS HURLED TO STREET.
Los Angeles, Oct. 17. --Two police chemists and explosives experts, Pex Welch and Ray Pinker, reported today preliminary examination of evidence of testimony taken from the blasted building indicated possibility that TNT was the explosive. They said 24 hours would be required to complete their scientific tests, but both expressed the same opinion as to the explosive responsible.
Los Angeles, Oct. 17. -- An explosion which wrecked the eleven-story Garment Capital building today, causing a fire in which approximately 50 persons suffered severe burns or other injuries became the subject of an immediate police investigation in the belief the blast had been perpetrated as the result of labor trouble. Eighteen victims, many with the clothing burned off their bodies, had been rescued an hour after the building was shattered into the mere semblance of a steel skeleton.
Police said the explosion occurred in the rooms on that floor of the Beverly Hills Frocks, Inc., where, they said, garment workers had gone on strike a month ago.
The police added they had reports of frequent trouble between the employers and the workers prior to the strike.
Fire Chief Scott, emerging from the wrecked building, said he had information there had been a "bad" labor dispute involving employers and workers of several firms.
Detectives Believe Gas Was "Planted."
District Attorney's detectives after investigating the explosion united in the opinion that the fifth and sixth floors had been "loaded" with a heavier than air gas in a planned explosion.
Blancy Matthews, chief investigator, Deputy District Attorney Hugh McIsaacs and two fire officials sent to the scene by District Attorney Buron Pitts, joined in expressing belief the explosion resulted from a well-laid and ingenious plot.
They say they had positive evidence a heavier-than-air gas had been transported to the sixth floor, directly above the Beverly Hills Frocks, Inc., shop, where workers went on strike a month ago.
Matthews declared the alleged plotters apparently had been familiar with the routine method in which a burglar alarm switch was thrown daily by an arriving garment manufacturer.
Early estimates of the loss were set by fire officials at $1,000,000 to the wrecked building, while three other nearby manufacturing structures suffered heavy losses.
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