Oswego, NY Gas Explosion In Tunnel, Aug 1957


Oswego, N.Y. (AP) -- An explosion tore through a tunnel cut in rock 100 feet below Lake Ontario and killed three construction workers yesterday. The blast turned the 6,250-foot tunnel into a gas-filled death trap that claimed another worker's life today.
The fourth man was overcome as he worked with a crew trying to bring out the bodies of the three blast victims early this morning.
Further efforts at retrieving the three bodies were called off until ventilating equipment could be installed.
LLOYD MATTESON, 32, of nearby Scriba, one of the approximately 100 workers who labored at the scene, ran out of oxygen about 1,500-feet inside the gas-filled tunnel. Fellow workers said he started running back toward the entrance, apparently became panicky and tore off his oxygen mask. Then he collapsed.
Two Coast Guardsmen working with rescue crews found the bodies of the three construction men last night, eight hours after the explosion. The bodies were about 4,000-feet inside the tunnel, which was being built as part of a new city water supply system.
The cause of the explosion was not determined.
The three killed were:
JOHN LAGOE, 40, an electrician, Oswego.
PHIL AYLOR, 36, Harrisonburg, Va., the tunnel foreman.
LINWOOD HIESTON, 47, Elkton, Va., constructioin superintendent.

Chester Times Pennsylvania 1957-08-19