Pompton, NJ Powder Mills Explosion, Jul 1898


The Laflin-Rand Works at Pompton, N. J., Nearly Destroyed.


First Explosion Occurred in the Mixing Room – A Second Caused by Detonation, and a Scene of Devestation Followed – Heroism of a Soldier – The Victims Blown to Pieces.

POMPTON LAKES, N. J. (Special). -- There was an explosion at the Laflin-Rand powder works Tuesday morning which wrecked two buildings, killed ten men and wounded about twenty others. The explosion took place in the mixing and drying departments, and came near setting the whole works on fire or causing explosions which would have wrecked the entire plant.

The dead are: JOHN CRAIG, thirty-five years old, Chief Engineer of the works, lived at Wynoke; WILLLIAM BRENNON, thirty-five years old, cart driver; JAMES PHILIPS, forty-five years old, married, had a family; DANIEL PREEMAN, thirty years old, boss of the drying room; WILLIAM FISHER; WILLIAM FISHER, son of FISHER; JOHN BONATTA, laborer; CASPER COZZINE, Italian laborer, married, fifty years old; GUIDO MARINO, fragment of body found; JOSE CASENNE, Italian laborer; G. J. GARRIGAN, and employee of the company.

The most seriously hurt are: Private WILLLIAM H. EMMONS, Company I, Third New Jersey Volunteers; ERNEST GRANGER, electrician, of Brooklyn; JAMES E. ROWE; WALTER MOORE; RICHARD LEARY; AMZI ODELL; EDWARD ROSE, a blacksmith; CHARLES LUKE; JOHN PHILLIPS; FRANK LEONARD; _________ _________; EDWIN LEWIS; S. W. BURCHELL.

There were really two explosions. The first one was at 10:30 o'clock. To those who heard it at a little distance there seemed to be three separate explosions, occurring within a fraction of a second. Before the noise and roar of the first explosion died away, another followed louder and more terrific than the first. It was separated from the first by perhaps a second, not more.

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