Eddystone, PA Ammunition Works Disaster, Apr 1917

Eddystone Marker for unidentified dead.jpg Eddystone PA Former site of Disaster.jpg

SIXTY KILLED, TWO HUNDRED SERIOUSLY INJURED AND THREE HUNDRED OTHERS MORE OR LESS HURT BY AN EXPLOSION AT THE EDDYSTONE AMMUNITION WORKS.

SICKENING SIGHT AS THE DEAD AND SERIOUSLY INJURED WERE TAKEN OUT OF THE RUINS AND FLAMES AND CARRIED TO THE LOCAL HOSPITALS AND MORGUES -- ALL PHYSICIANS OF THIS CITY AND VICINITY ON THE SCENE RENDERING HEROIC ASSISTANCE, WHILE THE CITY AND NEARBY FIRE COMPANIES BATTLE WITH THE FLAMES -- ORIGIN OF THE EXPLOSION UNKNOWN.

FLYING BULLETS CAUSE OF MANY DEATHS AND INJURIES.

WOMEN AND GIRLS VICTIMS.

A trio of explosions of unknown origin in the shrapnel plant of the Eddystone Ammunition plant at 10:10 o'clock this morning killed fifty, seriously wounded 200, while several hundred other employes are slightly injured. A fire which is being battled by the entire fire companies of this city and nearby boroughs in the yards of the plant, at the noon hour was still under control.
Residents of this city immediately after the appeal for "help" was flashed here, rushed to the plant in motor trucks and automobiles and donated their services in carrying the wounded to the hospitals. Guards from the Remington Arms, Baldwin Locomotive Works and other nearby big industries have sent their guards to watch over the damaged shrapnel plant and help to battle the flames that is threatening the entire plant.
Heads of the ammunition works telephoned Chief of Police Vance a few minutes after ten o'clock appealing for assistance and earnestly requesting that the fire companies and all the doctors possible be rushed to the scene. A few minutes later every fire fighter in the city responded to the call and hurried to the borough. Doctors immediately upon hearing the news hurried to the plant and joined in rendering medical aassistance to the injured men scattered over the plant.
The force of the explosion was terrific and sent terror into the hearts of the workmen who ran for all exits. However, many hundreds of them were baffled, for directly after the explosion two other outbursts rippled through the air and men in their flying effort to escape from death were stricken down while hundreds of others fell by the wayside seriously injured with little hopes of recovery.
Motor trucks were put into service and injured men were rushed to the Chester and Crozer Hospitals while the police patrol and private owned automobiles rushed dead men to the morgue.
Fire companies from all boroughs between Eddystone and Philadelphia joined forces with the local fire fighters near the noon hour in battling the flames. Hundreds of residents of this city are giving valuable service to the ground in caring for the wounded. Help from Philadelphia was summoned.
The injured are also being cared for in the tabernacle.

The Injured:
All the injured had been removed from the wreckage at 12 o'clock. Thirty dead bodies had been carried to the morgue of Deputy Coroner E. F. White, at Third and Norris Streets. Many were unrecognizable. Their charred formes were placed in the big auxillary truck of the Beacon Light Company and the City Police Patrol.
GEORGE RUE, 5724 Filbert Street, Philadelphia; injuries to head, jaw, burns of the body.
PAUL MICHAEL, 711, Mellvaine Street, this city; bullet wound in leg and burned.
MICHAEL ARANSKI, Eddystone; foot and arms injured.
SAMUEL LOWELL, 331 Parker Street, this city; legs and arm injured.
JACK FONTANA, 1231 Chester Pike, Eddystone; knee, arm and head burned.
JOE VASS, Philadelphia; burned about the face and body.
ABE WEISS, 711 Mercer Street, Philadelphia; head and legs burned.
SOL SAMUEL, Philadelphia; body burns.
THOMAS BUFORD, 2316 South Street, Philadelphia; thigh burns.
ALPHONSO TRILLING, 1032 Ellsworth Street, Philadelphia; burns about the head.