Lawrence, IN Indian Oil Refinery Explosion, Aug 1928

Oil Explosion Death Toll Mounts To 25.

The death list in the Indian Refinery company still explosion last week reached 25 tonight when John Mortz, 38 years old, and Claude Johnson, 35 years old, both of Larenceville, died in the hospital at Vincennes, Ind. Others of the crowd of 100 who were watching volunteer firemen fight a fire when a still filled with gasoline fumes exploded, are expected to die of their injuries.

Paper: Morning Star (Rockford, IL) Page: 14 August 8, 1928

Death Toll Out Of Oil Still Explosion Now Totals Fifteen

VINCENNES, Ind., Aug 8 - (AP)
-The death toll from the steam oil still explosion at the Indian Refining company plant at Lawrenceville, Ill., early Wednesday, reached 15 tonight when Forest Lawson, 24 years old; Charles Pate, 29 years old; Walter Gullit, 49 years old, and J.L. Perry, 42 years old, died.
Two others W.R. Spragg and Alva Pickett, died this afternoon.

Three or four other victims were reported to be on the verge of death, while the condition of about 25 others seriously burned men at the hospital took a turn for the worse today.

Forty men were carrying a hose line to fight a fire at the refinery plant, when, without warning, the head of the oil still blew out, throwing a sheet of flame over them. Thirty-seven of the volunteer fire fighters, terribly burned, were brought to the local hospital.

Paper: Morning Star (Rockford, IL) Page: 1, August 3, 1928