Newport, RI Torpedo Station Accident, May 1920


There was an accident at the Torpedo Station on Tuesday afternoon, which brought injuries to four men, but fortunately none of them was dangerously hurt. The sounding of the Station fire alarm and the rumor of the explosion brought a large crowd to the Government Landing to await further reports from the Station, the crowd approximating in size the which assembled at the time of the explosion in the bomb-proof when a number of men were killed there during the war. Fortunately this accident was much less serious.

One of the men had picked up one of the old round cannon balls which are numerous at the Station and had placed it in the forge for [ineligible]. No one imagined that it contained any form of explosive, it being supposed to be solid iron. After being well heated the ball exploded, throwing fragments of iron in all directions. Four men were directly in range and all suffered painful burns- John Gleason, Florence J. Harvey, George H. Cleary and James H. Hefferman. All were given prompt treatment by the surgical force at the Station, and while it was at first feared that one of them might lose the sight of and eye it is now believed that there will be no serious consequence to anyone.

This is the first serious accident that has happened at the Station for a long time.

Newport Mercury, Newport, RI 15 May 1920