Clinton, IL Explosion, Feb 1925

Clinton Lad, 13, Horribly Mangled

Harry Sutton Mortally Wounded When Acids He Found While Playing Explode--Companions Slightly Hurt.

Clinton, Feb. 21.---Harry Sutton, thirteen year old son of Mr. and Mrs. Roy Sutton, was terribly mangled and in all probability fatally injured after 11 o'clock Saturday forenoon, and two companions of about his age were slightly hurt by flying glass as the result of a terrific explosion of acids contained in two bottles the lads found while playing in the Argo pasture east of the Illinois Central tracks.

Young Sutton was still alive in Jarman hospital here at twelve o'clock, though it was believed he could not survive long.


When found by the three boys, the bottles of liquid were picked up by young Sutton, who crashed them together. Instantly a violent explosion occurred, mangling young Sutton horribly and blowing a hole in the ground in a depth of three feet. Particles of the broken bottles were hurled against the other two boys, cutting them slightly in several places.


Later it was determined that one of the bottles contained nitric acid and the other sulphuric acid, the contact of which caused the heavy explosion. It is believed the bottles were left where they were found by [ineligible] for future use, perhaps in Clinton.

Harry Sutton's father, who is a brakeman in the employ of the Illinois Central, was on the St. Louis end of his run when the tragedy occurred, but is rushing toward this city as fast as possible. He will arrive here at 5:30. Mrs. Sutton, the mother, is being sought. Neighbors say that she is out of the city, but her whereabouts is unknown to them. A message to her will have to await the arrival of her husband.

Decatur Daily Review, Decatur, IL 21 Feb 1925