Dallas, TX Grain Elevator Explosion, Nov 1956


Dallas, Nov. 24 (AP) -- Two men burned to death and 14 others suffered injuries when a thunderous explosion and fire turned the Southland Feed Mills elevator into a pillar of flame today.
The blast knocked out power lines and shook a large section of north Dallas at 3:40 a.m.
Flames, touched off by the explosion, billowed up through the 135-foot elevator and were visible for miles.
The 14 men -- 12 employes of the mill and two switchmen for the Katy railroad -- fought their way out of the flames and smoke.
One was critically burned and many of the others were painfully scared.
The bodies of the two victims -- BILL BROWN and EUGENE SHIVES -- were recovered from the smouldering ruins of the elevator.
A fireman, D. W. HAMPTON, was overcome by smoke.
The interior of the elevator was burned out. Feed, grain and equipment were destroyed.
Fire Chief C. N. Penn estimated damage to the elevator at $150,000. Twelve boxcars on a siding were destroyed or damaged. The side of the adjoining Lofland Steel Co. building was caved in by the explosion.
E. E. Franklin, superintendent of the Dallas terminal for the Katy railroad, said that the blast apparently was caused by dust, a frequent cause of elevator explosions.
Some of the men had all their clothes burned away as they fought their way through the flames. Several were hysterical from pain and shock. One man had to be dug out of the rubble.
The blast which knocked out power lines in the immediate area occurred while a night crew was sacking and loading livestock feed.
Several of the 14 injured men were reported in critical condition. Many had all the clothes burned off their bodies.

The Lima News Ohio 1956-11-25