Braddock, PA Furnace Explosion, Mar 1903



Pittsburg, Pa., March 31. -- One dead, seven not expected to live, two missing and seven others so badly burned and disfigured as to be almost unrecognizable, was the terrible result of an explosion in blast furnace I of the Edgar Thompson Steel Plant of the Carnegie Company at Braddock, Pa., early today.
The name of the dead man is given as JOHN SMITH, probably an angileized form of his proper name.
The others have not yet been identified.
As far as can be learned at this time the explosion is supposed to be due to a defect in the electrical equipment of the furnace.
During the night the furnace worked unsatisfactorily and about daylight a number of men were sent to the top to repair the trouble, which was located at the "bleeker." At the same time the discovery was made that the automatic electrical equipment was out of order and additional men were detailed to locate the trouble.
While seventeen men were at work either at the top or bottom, a "hang" in the furnace was found and before the alarm could be given and the workmen were enveloped in a rain of molten metal and lime, which burned the skin from their bodies, and rendered them unconscious.
Notwithstanding the danger of a second explosion, a party was organized and the men rescued from their perilous position.
Only fifteen men could be found, however, and it is not known whether the two missing were blown into the furnace, or are wandering about the district in a semi-demented condition.
The injured were brought to the hospital and every thing possible done to relieve their sufferings. A thorough investigation into the cause of the explosion is now in progress.

Reno Evening Gazette Nevada 1903-03-31

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