Orleans, IN Gas Pipeline Explosion, Oct 1955


Orleans, Ind., Oct. 10 - (UP) - A new gas pipeline exploded and burst into flames near here Monday, killing two workers and injuring four others.
The dead were RALPH E. MENSER, 34, Owensboro, Ky., an employee of the Texas Gas Transmission Co., which laid the new pipeline, and STEVEN W. CRAWFORD, 35, Nashville, Tenn., a construction worker.
Authorities said the blast occurred
when the new 16-inch line was cleaned, the last step before gas is piped.
Cause of the accident was not determined.
A quarter of a mile of pipeline burst into flames. It took crews nearly an hour to shut off the gas. The fire burned hours later but was under control.
One worker, JAMES L. LAWHORN, 30, of Columbus, Ind., was blown over a building by the force of the explosion. He was hospitalized in nearby Paoli, Ind., with severe burns about the hands and head.
Also injured and hospitalized were TOM CONRAD, Columbus, and LESTER HARRINGTON. Released after treatment for minor injuries was LOUIS C. BRADLEY, Minden, Ark.
Two trucks were enveloped by the flames and demolished.
Most of the crew of at least 35 men working at the blast scene where the new line was built across the "big inch" and "little big inch" pipelines had left before the explosion occurred.

Galveston Daily News Texas 1955-10-11