Whiting, IN Standard Oil Explosion, Jul 1921

Five Die Of Burns

Bad Blaze In Plant Of Standard Oil Co. At Whiting.

(By Associated Press)
Chicago, July 5.-Five men were burned to death and twenty-seven were injured when the fire started today in three batteries of high pressure stills in the Standard Oil Company’s refinery at Whiting, Indiana. An explosion followed the fire. The property loss was said to be heavy.

Among the dead were Fire Marshall Johnson and his assistant, Joe Taylor, of the Standard Oil Company’s force. The other victims were laborers and were so badly burned that identification will be difficult. Seven persons were reported missing.

It was not until noon that the fire was extinguished and it was then that the search for the bodies was made. It is believed there are some bodies in the ruins. The flames broke out just as the day force was leaving and the night force coming to work.

The damage to the refinery was not estimated. Some officials said it was incalculable and that the cost of repairs would be huge.

Logansport Morning Press, Logansport, IN 5 Jul 1921


Whiting Explosion Dead, 8.

Standard Oil Company Puts Loss at $2,000,000.

Special to The New York Times.
Chicago, July 5.-With eight bodies recovered and identified, the police and Standard Oil employees searching the wreckage caused by the explosion of two giant gasoline stills at Whiting, Ind., on Monday, believe all those killed have been accounted for.

Of the forty-two injured the majority have left the hospitals and some have returned to work. Six of the dead working within ten feet of the stills, were killed instantly. Oil company officials today estimated the loss at $2,000,000.

According to a preliminary investigation, the first blast came from one of the centre batteries of stills used to refine the crude oil into gasoline. The stills are about twenty feet in diameter and weigh several tons. The oil is forced through those vessels at a high pressure and this is believed to have caused a leak.

The still split in two parts, one of which hit a similar vessel next to it. Explosion after explosion followed, and sparks ignited the gasoline. The explosion rocked houses and filled the company’s yards with flying bricks, splinters and steel fragments.

The New York Times, New York, NY 6 Jul 1921


Winamac Man Is Explosion Victim at Whiting, Ind.

Frank Stout, son of Solomon Stout and wife of Winamac died in the Passarant hospital at Chicago, July 4, following the explosion of the Whiting Gas and Refining Co. buildings at Whiting, Ind., from which he was taken to the Chicago hospital. He leaves to survive him his wife and three children, a boy seven years old, a girl four, and a baby, three brothers, George, of Chicago, Joseph and Robert of Hammond; three sisters, Mrs. Geo. Fritz of Winamac, Mrs. Clara McFadden of Benton harbor and Barbara, at home. The funeral was held yesterday at 2:30.

Logansport Morning Press, Logansport, IN 8 Jul 1921


Mrs. Emma Carey and Mrs. Eph Good and Henry Jenkins were in Winamac Thursday to attend the funeral of Frank Stout who was killed in an explosion at Whiting.

Logansport Morning Press, Logansport, IN 10 Jul 1921


Cause Of Explosion Is Not Ascertained

Hammond, Ind., July 9.-Investigation by Dr. E. B. Evans, coroner of Lake County, failed to establish the cause for the explosion at the Whiting Standard Oil Refinery Monday in which eight persons were killed and 27 injured. The coroner announced today that no blame could be placed for the accident.

Montgomery Advertiser, Montgomery, AL 10 Jul 1921