East Chicago, IN Apartment Explosion, May 1953


East Chicago, Ind. (AP) -- A 20-month-old baby was killed and 16 other persons were injured Monday afternoon in an explosion that ripped through a two-story frame apartment house in the Indiana Harbor section here.
Police said all of the victims were Negroes. Fire Chief Nicholas Palla said the blast might have been caused by a gas main leak beneath the building.
The explosion killed DIANE WEST, infant daughter of MRS. MINNIE WEST, 25, who lived in the basement of the building with her husband and their four other children.
MRS. WEST and her children were among the injured rescued from the rubble by police and firemen. All of the injured were taken to St. Catherine's Hospital. None was believed hurt critically.
Among the injured were MRS. JEWELL STEVENS, 23, and her three children. MRS. STEVENS broke a window in her second floor apartment after the explosion and dropped her children into the arms of a passerby. She then leaped from the window to the ground.
Police said AMOS HATCH, 37, apparently was the only one in the building at the time of the explosion who was not hurt.

Anderson Herald Indiana 1953-05-19