San Francisco, CA Oil Tanker CHARLIE WATSON Explosion, Nov 1931


(By International News Service)
San Francisco, Nov. 21. - An investigation was launched today to determine the cause of the explosion which killed four men and seriously injured nine others and shattered the Standard Oil Company tanker CHARLIE WATSON. It was caused when gasoline from a broken hose was ignited in a manner which is not yet known.
The tanker was being unloaded of a cargo of gasoline at pier 43 when the blast occurred.
The dead:
Chief Officer B. C. RIPLEY, Richmond, Cal.
Third Mate JOHN GANNON, San Francisco.
STANLEY DUDZICK, North Tonawanda, N.Y., laborer, whose back was broken when he fell from a pile of lumber.
Those injured were all members of the crew except R. F. FINNEGAN, who was employed on the pier where the tanker was unloading.
Nearly a quarter of a million gallons of gasoline had been unloaded when the explosion rocked the ship. About 36,000 gallons remained in the tanker, making the task of subduing the flames extremely hazardous.
Captain OSCAR J. LANDAHL, GANNON and HENRY B. CROCKETT, insurance man, were on the bridge when the gasoline line broke. The first two ran forward and were hurled in the air by the explosion. LANDAHL was reported to be in a critical condition. CROCKETT ran toward the stern of the ship and escaped injury. Three members of the crew were hurled into the water and swam ashore. The six others injured were either blown on to the pier or to the deck of the ship.
Pouring tons of water into the burning craft, the fire department had the blaze under control within twenty minutes.

The Kane Republican Pennsylvania 1931-11-21