Emporium, PA Aetna Powder Works Explosion, Feb 1916

Loss in Explosion at Emporium Will Be $75,000.00


One Is Seriously Hurt be Being Struck by Flying Timers.

Hard Fight to Check Fire

Special to Gazette and Bulletin,
EMPORIUM, Feb. 8. ---The estimated loss in last night’s explosion and fire at the picric acid plant of the Aetna Explosive company here was placed at $75,000.00 today. Four huge tanks, containing approximately $50,000 worth of acid, were completely destroyed, as was also the building, a two-story structure.

The fifteen men who were at work in the building when the tanks exploded escaped their escape being little short of miraculous. First reports were to the effect that all had perished and it was not until several hours after the explosion that it was determined that none had met death, although four were injured, the most seriously being Harry Marsh, who sustained a broken shoulder and other injuries by being struck by flying timbers.

Flames Raged for Hours

Only the heroic work of the company firemen saved the adjoining buildings as a strong wind made it very difficult to fight the flames, which were not gotten under control until late last night.

The theory that the explosion was caused by German agents is doubted, and it is not thought that the wrecking of the tanks was an aftermath of the warning received by the Aetna Explosive Company two weeks ago to the effect that the plant would be destroyed.

The building will be rebuilt at once.

Gazette and Bulletin, Williamsport, PA 9 Feb 1916