Minneapolis, MN saloon explosion, Jun 1910


Gas Tank Blows Up and Demolishes Building


Fire Follows the Explosion and Disfigures the Bodies of Those Caught in the Wreckage - Disaster Occurs Just Outside the City Limits of Minneapolis - Women Have Very Narrow Escape.

Minneapolis, June 19. - Five men were instantly killed, three others injured and six men and four women had miraculous escape from death when an acetylene gas tank exploded in the basement of the Point saloon, Crystal Lake and Robbinsdale roads, just outside the Minneapolis city limits.

The detonation could be heard for miles.

The explosion hurled the walls of the builing outward, the roof falling in, killing or maiming those inside. Fire followed the explosion, disfiguring the bodies of those caught in the two-story structure, which was reduced to ashes.

Three of the boides are at the Hennepin county morgue in a condition indicating that they had fought the falling timbers. Two bodies at an undertaking establishment are also terribly burned.

The dead are:

Charles Giebenheim, forty-eight years old, bartender in the saloon, married, wife and two children.

Louis O. Hamisek, twenty-five years old, a painter, unmarried.

Eugene Hamlin, twenty-seven years old, teamster.

Albert Hirth, Brinklun, Minn., local address unknown, about twenty-two years old. A card found on him gave the name of Miss Anna Hirth, 104 Second street north, apparently a sister, who could not be located.

Body of a man not positively identified on account of burns, but thought to be Joseph Silbaugh, forty-two years old, a carpenter, who has not been heard from since the accident.

The injured are:

Edward Haneber, thirty-five years old, proprietor of the Point saloon, burned and bruised about the head and shoulders. Physicians at Asbury hospital stated that they did not know the extent of his injuries.

Severely Burned and Crushed.

George Miller, twenty-seven years old, plasterer, At Asbury hospital, where it is said his condition is not known. He is severely burned about the chest andface and both arms and legs were badly crushed.

Ernest Osterheld, thirty-nine years old, porter saloon. Arms and face burned.

About six other men were injured more or less, but in the rush following the accident they either went to their houses or, despite thier injuries, assisted in the rescue work.

In the rear of the saloon four women of [sic] age were chatting over steins at the time of the explosion. Interestedly, after the accident they were seen hurrying away, their faces blackened and scorched. They were taken to the home of William Koenig, where they were given attention. It was necessary for Mrs. Koenig to give two of the women clothing, thier own having been torn from them during their flight. They left, concealing their names.

According to a gold watch found on the body of Giebenheim, the bartender, the explosion occurred at 4:22 p. m., at which time the hands stopped.

The exact cause of the explosion is a mystery. It was reported that some one had been working on the gas tank at the time, but this was denied by Osterheld, the porter. He declares that he and his employer were the only men in the basement at the time of the accident, and they were at the other end of the building. The theory to that the pipes leading from the tank had become clogged and stopped by gas. This produced an excess pressure and the explosion followed.

The Austin Daily Herald, Austin, MN 29 Jun 1910