LaSalle, IL Gas Pipeline Explosion, Jul 1946


LaSalle, Ill., July 4 (AP) - Six workmen were killed today and 10 others injured when a pipe end blew off a high-pressure natural gas line near here with a hissing force that hurled some of the victims 325 feet through the air.
The dead were:
ALVIN E. CLEARY, 40, Genesco, Ill.
FRANK INGHRAM, 28, Genesco, Ill.
BEN ADRIAN MARSH, 35, formerly of Red Oak, Iowa, of Belvidere, Ill.
ROBERT WALSTROM, 26, Belvidere, Ill.
LENN DALE SWAN, 39, Truro, Iowa.

Names Of Injured Listed.
The injured included:
M. M. WHITSON, Genesco, superintendent of the pipe line in the Ottawa district, who suffered back and hip injuries.
GLEN F. HORTON, 45, Ottawa, foreman, slight brain concussion and rib fractures.
AMBROSE L. BARNETT, 37, Belvidere, foreman, skull fracture and back injury.
FOREST E. GOULD, Genesco, ankle injuries.
The other injured, all welder helpers and laborers, are:
LOREN HELLER of Genesco, Ill.
DAVID PALM of Genesco, Ill.
MYRON PERMENTER of Taylor Ridge, Ill.
NORMAN PLUMLEY of Belvidere.
M. M. WHITSON, Genesco, Ill.

Men Blown 325 Feet.
The accident occurred in a corn field on the William Fulper farm where the workmen had removed a 30-foot section of the pipe line preparatory to installing connections for a future extension.
The pressure on one end of the severed line had been shut off at a nearby station, workmen said, but on the other section a temporary gate or pipe-end was installed.
Workmen said the pipe-end failed to withstand the pressure and that when it was blown off some of them were lifted 30 feet into the air from a 15-foot ditch and carried 325 feet away by the blast. A 30-foot section of the line itself was blown about 100 feet away, the workmen added.

No Halt In Supply.
The pressure at the break was shut off shortly after the accident at a station about 10 miles east.
The line, owned by the Natural Gas & Pipe Line Co., extends from Texas to Chicago and eastern points. Company officials said it is flanked by reservoirs along the route and that there was no interruption of service as a result
of the accident.
Dr. H. J. Roberts, coroner, and Dr. M. H. Sawyer, deputy coroner, both of Ottawa, returned open verdicts on the five men who were killed. They reported that injuries sustained included skull fractures, chest fractures and broken necks.

Decatur Herald Illinois 1946-07-05