San Lorenzo, CA Powder Explosion, Feb 1910



San Lorenzo, Calif. -- An explosion in the plant of the Trojan powder works at San Lorenzo, Cal., Thursday cost the lives of five men and a property loss of $50,000. Four other employes were seriously if not fatally, injured, and a dozen more, including Superintendent MARTINS, were burned and bruised, narrowly escaping death.
Why half a hundred men were not blown to atoms is a mystery. In a magazine in the center of the twenty-five buildings that made up the plant were stored 75,000 pounds of powder, ready for shipment. Fire followed the explosion, and ten of the buildings were burned, surrounding the magazine with a wall of flames through which rescuers dared not venture.
With the exception of REUBEN THARP, chemist at the works, all of the dead were workmen. The first warning of the disaster was the outbreak of a fire in the mixing room. The blaze had hardly been noticed when the explodion followed, its force wrecking neighborhood buildings and hurling one of the mixers hundreds of feet through the air. Nearly half a hundred men and women were in and near the plant, wnd they were thrown to the ground by the violence of the blast. Fire followed, leaping from building to building, and the injured, pinned under the debris of collapsed buildings, were threatened with incineration. The roar of the explosion drew hundreds of persons, and by heroic exertions the dead and maimed were dragged from the ruins. Only when it became known that the magazine was threatened by the flames and another and more terrific explosion was possible at any moment did their efforts relax.
It is possible that other bodies may be found in the ruins.

Sioux County Herald Orange City Iowa 1910-02-23