Alton, IL Powder Explosion Kills Nine, Jul 1923


ALTON, Ill., July 10 (Associated Press) — Nine persons were killed and twenty-five injured in an explosion this afternoon in the metallic shell department of the Western Cartridge Company plant at East Alton.

Three of the dead are women — Miss Anna Gorman of Alton, Miss Ruth Green of East Alton and Miss Hazel Young of Rockford. The men were William Brummer of East Alton, Frank Bennes of Alton, Russell Reyburn of Brownstown, III., Charles Hawkln of Alton and Howard Hunter of Alton. Two of those injured will die, it is feared, while several others are said to be in a serious condition.

The most seriously-injured are Mrs. Bessie Jenkins and Mrs. Minnie Wagner, for whose recovery little hope was held out tonight.

The cause of the explosion has not been ascertained. It occurred in a fireproof structure in which about fifty employees, mostly women, were extracting powder from cartridges.

Fire followed the explosion, but was soon extinguished. Today's explosion was said to have been the worst that ever occurred at the plant.

July 11, 1923 edition of "The New York Times"