Mt. Braddock, PA Powder Plant Explosion, Oct 1958




Investigation continued today into the cause of yesterday morning's terrific explosion at the Liberty Powder plant at Mount Braddock, killing four workers.
Dead are:
LENN R. BURNS, 42, of 386 N. Gallatin Ave., Uniontown, Pa.
ROBERT W. TRIMBATH, 49, of Morrell, Pa.
LEONARD E. McGEE, 38, of Morrell, Pa.
JOHN (JACK) HOLUB, 34, of High St., Dunbar, Pa.
Three other workers were injured and received treatment in the emergency room of Uniontown Hospital.
They were identified as:
JOHN MORRIS, 41, of Uniontown, R.D. 1, laceration of the forehead.
DAVE CAFFEY, 27, of Footedale, shock.
STEVE BERTOVICH, 23, of Smock, laceration of the forehead.
W. C. Crosby of Uniontown, manager of the plant,
said operations will be closed indefinitely, until a complete investigation into the explosion is made.
The four men were killed at 10:30 yesterday morning when an estimated 2,000 pounds of dynamite powder blew up in the gelatin pack house, a frame building approximately 30 by 30 feet in size.
Mr. Crosby said it has not been definitely established where the men were working when the blast went off, but that 100 men were on that particular shift, one of three at the plant.
Safety regulations require that only four men be assigned to the pack house at one time.
MR. BURNS had been employed there for the past seven years, and leaves his widow and two children.
MR. TRIMBATH had worked at the plant for 2 1/2 years and leaves his widow and five children, and formerly worked in the mines, as did LEONARD McGEE, his brother-in-law.
MR. McGEE, an ex-infantryman, had served three years and seven months overseas, seeing action in the African Campaign and Normandy invasion. He had worked at the plant for three years an is survived by his widow. The couple had no children.
The fourth victim, JOHN HOLUB, was a Navy veteran and one of the most decorated servicemen
in this area. He served in both the Pacific and European Theaters during World War II, and is survived by his widow and a son. He had worked at the plant for nearly eight years.
Debris from the blast was scattered about a wide area and a huge hole was left in the ground at the site where the building once stood.
Mr. Crosby said cause of the explosion had not been determined.

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