Baton Rouge, LA Tornado, Jul 1891


BATON ROUGE, July 6. --- A cyclone passed over the lower part of town at 6:30 this morning unroofing houses, tearing up immense trees and carrying missles [sic] along in the air for many blocks.

The rain has been falling in torrents since 4 o'clock making it almost impossible to learn the extent of the damage.

The penitentiary walls were blown down, ten persons killed and 30 wounded. The loss is very great.

The factory building was demolished and the hospital of the penitentiary is a mass of debris.

NEW ORLEANS, July 6. --- There were 40 persons at work in the pants factory at the time of the crash, and of that number six were killed and 22 were wounded and horribly crushed. On the second or central floor was the hospital, where 20 sick prisoners lay undergoing medical treatment, of which number four were killed and 14 seriously if not fatally injured.

The fire alarm was sounded and the entire fire department was summoned to the scene of the dreadful catastrophe, and citizens and city officials, aided by the uninjured prisoners, worked vigorously for the rescue of the unfortunate souls who lay, some dead and others dying, confined under the great heaps of debris that were strewn over every part of the premises.

Scenes of great imaginative horror greeted the eyes of those engaged in the rescuing work, and the pitiful wails and death groans from the men buried out of sight beneath the massive heap of brick and mortar could be heard arising from every part of the wreck imploring help, and altogether the scene was heartrending.

The storm was attended by a most violent rain in which the rescuers were working. It lasted for several hours until both the living and dead were excavated from the ruins.

The wounded number 36. Of these about six are expected to die before night and the recovery of several of the others is extremely doubtful.

The total damage to the penitentiary buildings is estimated at $30,000.

A visit to the capital and other state buildings showed them unharmed by the winds, as was also the business portion of the town on Main and Ford streets by the storm.

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