Bradford, PA Gas Oil Well Explosion Injures School Children, Apr 1909

CHILDREN BURNED IN OIL BLAZE

Flames Shooting From Well Causes Bad Disaster.

ALL SCHOOL PUPILS

Bradford Youngsters Were Returning Home When They Visited the Well.

VICTIM'S CLOTHES BURNED OFF

Bradford, Pa., April 3.--More than 30 young school children, mostly residents of the Third ward, here, were severely burned late yesterday afternoon in a gas explosion at a new oil well on School street. Four men were also badly injured. They are members of the crew engaged in shooting the well.

Hooker & O'Donnell, contractors, had shot the well with nitro-glycerine and the children had been attracted to the vicinity. Escaping gas was ignited in some manner and before the children could be gotten out of the way there was a terrific explosion. That a hundred or more were not instantly killed seems almost a miracle.

The well was the property of the East Bradford Oil Co. As soon as the explosion of natural gas was known all of the ambulances of the city were summoned and the little sufferers were hurried to the Bradford Hospital, or the offices of the various physicians, where their injuries were dressed.

All of the children with one or two exceptions, are between the ages of 12 and 15 years. In the large party of school children, however, not a girl was burned or injured in any manner. Some of the boys had their clothing burned from their bodies.

Indiana Evening Gazette, Indiana, PA 3 Apr 1909