Emporium, PA Aetna Powder Co Explosion, Jul 1916

ELEVEN MEN KILLED.

Explosion in Aetna Works at Emporium Saturday.

Eleven men were killed Saturday at the Aetna Powder Works at Emporium when 75,000 pounds of smokeless powder exploded it is claimed by workmen of the plant that the accident was caused by the desire of the company to rush the powder through to completion before it had sufficiently dried, as immense orders were waiting to be filled.

Two Williamsport young men, Rufus Tyler, aged 22 years, and Randolph Irion, aged 19 years, were among the victims Neither is married. Tyler was killed outright and young Irion died Sunday morning.

The list of the dead is as follows:

H. F. LEWIS, of Austin, unmarried. ALBERT NELSON, Ludlow, unmarried. OTTO TOWNER, Emporium, married. with wife and child; FRANK CLINTON COSTELLO, unmarried; RUFUS TYLER, unmarried; GEORGE HOBART, Emporium, unmarried, all killed instantly; ORION JAMES, of Cogan House died en route to Williamsport hospital; RICHARD ERICKSON, Kersey, unmarried; GEORGE BLOSE, Emporium., died Saturday night; RANDOLPH IRION, Williamsport, died Sunday morning, WILLIAM PYE, Emporium, died Sunday evening at 8:30 o'clock leaves wife and family.

The Wellsboro Gazette, Wellsboro, PA 5 Jul 1916

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Powder Plant Explosion Kills Eleven.

Eleven men were killed last Saturday afternoon by an explosion which occurred in one of the drying houses of the Aetna Powder Company at Emporium. Six of these were instantly killed when 75,000 pounds of smokeless powder exploded. The other five were taken to the Williamsport hospital on a special train.

Orion James, of Cogan Station, Lycoming county, one of the injured men, died on the train; two others died at the hospital just before midnight on Saturday; another died early Sunday morning and the last was released from the torture of horrible burns Sunday evening.

It is claimed by workmen of the plant that the accident was caused by the desire of the company to rush the powder through to completion before it had sufficiently dried, as immense orders were waiting to be filled.

Up to one week ago the Aetna company was filling a $50,000,000 war order for the allies, when the United States took over their contract.

Fifteen men were working in the building when the explosion took place. Three, standing near a door, were blown out of the building, but escaped with minor injuries.

The four walls of the two-story brick structure were blown to bits. After the fire was extinguished the six bodies were found beneath the ruins.

The Wellsboro Gazette, Wellsboro, PA 6 Jul 1916