Dallas, TX Liquid Carbonic Explosion, Apr 1919

Gas Drum Explosion Injures Two Workers

One Man Loses Left Leg in Accident Yesterday at Local Factory.

J. Benjamin WERNSING, 422 Leland avenue, had his left leg blown off at the knee, and William R. GEORGE, 1916 McKinney avenue, was slightly injured, when a gas drum exploded in the Liquid Carbonic Company, 1217 Elm street yesterday morning.

According to Charles S. WHEATON, vice president and general manager, both men were working on a filling stand where cylinders were being fed with twenty pounds of carbonic acid gas from gas drums. When the drum exploded 1,200 pounds of pressure was applied. The left leg of WERNSING was caught in the explosion and torn from the body until it hung by shreds of skin. The explosion upset other drums, on of which fell on the right ankle of George. Mr. WHEATON said it was undetermined whether a flesh bruise or a fracture resulted. An X-ray will be applied tomorrow.

The noise of the explosion attracted near-by Missouri, Kansas & Texas Railroad employes, who rushed to the scene. E. C. FINCH, E. L. OWENS, John MOSS and others rendered first aid, applying a tourniquet to WERNSING’s leg. The Emergency Hospital ambulance answered the call and took the two injured men to the Baptist Sanitarium.

WERNSING had been in the employ of the company for eight years and George for one year and a half. Mr. WHEATON sent two employes of the company to attend the men at the hospital WERNSING’s left leg was amputated soon after his arrival and late yesterday evening he was resting easy. The extent of George’s injuries can not be determined until an X-ray picture is taken.

According to Mr. WHEATON, the cause of accident is under investigation by the officials of the company. Under Government regulations the gas drums are inspected and tested once every five years. The drum which exploded had been tested about a year ago. The capacity of the drum is a pressure of 4,000 pounds. According to Mr. WHEATON the explosion must have taken place from some unknown cause, which he hopes will be brought to light by the investigation.

Dallas Morning News, Dallas, TX 11 Apr 1919