Hochelaga, QB Gas Explosion, May 1888



Montreal, May 26. -- The new gasometer at the gas works at Hochelaga exploded this morning. There are supposed to have been from twelve to twenty men in the building at the time. Five bodies have been taken out. The remainder are buried in the ruins.
Most of the bodies taken out were slightly bruised and it is supposed death was caused by suffocation. Men who were painting on the roof were blown fifty feet in the air but escaped serious injury. It is supposed that as many as thirty were more or less injured. The building is entirely wrecked. The explosion was caused by leaking gas becoming ignited by a lantern which one of the men foolishly carried into the building.
Four persons in all lost their lives, and six persons were injured, three of whom will die. Officials state that it is impossible to give the loss at present.
It is now believed that the explosion was caused by a fitter incantiously approaching a leak with a lamp while endeavoring to locate it. The damage to property is estimated at $150,000 to $200,000. It is probable that the walls adjoining the gas meter are so shaken that a large portion will have to be taken down.
The excitement in the east end of the city is very great.
The scene presented while the bodies of the victims were being removed was very pathetic. An other name, that of a young man named O'BRIEN, has been added to the list of killed. His body and that of JOSEPH ANGEL are still under the debris.
Following is a list of those fatally injured:
ANGUS GAY a Caughnawaga, an Indian, fractured skull, burned face and hands.
GEORGE FISHER, frightfully burned.
TOM STACEY, compound fracture of the leg and burns on the hands, face and legs.

Morning Oregonian Portland 1888-05-27