Plains, TX Warehouse Explosion, Feb 1953
One Dead After Plains Blast; Damage Heavy
PLAINS, Tex. (AP) - A man standing a block away was fatally injured and more than a score of other persons were hurt when dynamite exploded in a burning warehouse here yesterday.
Firemen fighting the blaze and spectators were included in the injured, at least three of whom were in critical condition today.
George McNabb, 35, died in the Yoakum County Hospital at Denver City, Tex., several hours after the blast.
Sam Trivitt, Brownsfield contractor, estimated damage from the blast at $150,000. Firemen said the blaze started from a welding torch in use in the warehouse.
Deputy Sheriff R. H. Camblis of Yoakum County said the burning building went up in a funnel-shaped cone of debris.
Chamblis said Pierre St. Romain, owner of the warehouse, shouted, "Dynamite! Dynamite!" just before the blast. Some of the firemen and spectators ran, he said, but others stood their ground, apparently not understanding.
Chamblis said he saw two firemen laying a hose line knocked flat by the blast and watched another blown across the street into a vacant lot.
Force of the blast destroyed the burning building which housed supplies of the Plains Telephone Co., caved in doors, heavily damaged nearby structures and jolted Denver City, 20 miles south and about 15 miles from the New Mexico border.
Nearly all the injured, including the man fatally hurt, were struck by flying debris, although officers said concussion caused some injuries.
Critically injured where Dick McGinty, 40, internal injuries, an employe of a frozen food locker form; Duane McDonnell, 19, head injuries, an oil field worker, and T. J. Miller, 28, oil company employe, internal and head injuries.
Sherman Tingle, 41, service station operator, received a broken collar bone when a nail was driven head first into his chest. Brownsfield doctors removed it.
Tingle in a former resident of Big Spring and a nephew of Mrs. W. D. McDonald.
Mrs. McDonald said that she talked to Mrs. Tingle by telephone Monday night. Mrs. Tingle said her husband suffered a severe throat injury, a broken collar bone and a broken shoulder. He was one of the volunteer firemen working at the scene of the warehouse fire when he blast occurred.
Tingle lived in Big Spring for several years before moving to Plains. He is being treated at a Brownfield hospital.
All the injured were in Denver City. Those held overnight were J. W. Moore Jr., 43, dry goods store owner; E. R. Wauson, 26; St. Romaine, owner of the Plains Telephone and Water Co.; the Rev. F. R. Pickens, pastor of the Plains Methodist Church.
Other injured were discharged last night after first aid.
The Big Spring Daily Herald, Big Spring, TX 15 Feb 1953