Spokane Falls, WA Dynamite Explosion, Sep 1890


Spokane Falls, Wash., Sept. 8. -- A frightful and deadly explosion of dynamite occurred in the Northern Pacific freight yards in the eastern part of this city Satruday afternoon, near 6 o'clock. A large force of men have been for some time engaged in blasting out a large rock pile at that point, and at the time of the accident about fifty men were at or near the scene. The practice has been to fire the blasts after the greater portion of the laborers employed had gone home, so as to reduce the chances for fatalities in case of an accident, and the men killed or injured were busily engaged in the work when the catastrophe occurred.

Crushed Under Tons of Rock.
While engaged in the work and when one blast had been prepared and the men were putting in a second, it exploded. How it happened is not known. The man who made the fatal mistake can not tell for he is among the dead. The explosion set off the other blast and the effect was terrible.
Twenty-five thousand cubic feet of rock was thrown over upon the unsuspecting mass of humanity, and from the debris immediately there arose the cries of a score of crushed and mangled victims. Hundreds of people soon gathered at the scene, and for three hours the work of taking out the dead and injured went on. The scene at the hospital were heartrending. Wives and relatives of the workmen were crazed with grief and suspense.

The List of Dead.
When the ghastly work of recovering the dead and rescuing the injured had been completed the list footed up sixteen corpses, blackened, crushed and broken, and seven seriously hurt. The names of those sent so suddenly to eternity are as follows:
B. VILTER, powderman.
JAMES TALBO, powderman.
A. PUELONELIS, rockman.
J. A. HOLM, rockman.
JOSEPH RAY, rockman.
HENRY APTED, driller.
RAY PINKNEY, driller.
Six drillers, names not known.
The injured are:
JOHN RHINE, head badly cut.
JOHN REETH, shoulder-blade and arms dislocated and leg broken.
MATT ENIOLO, compound fracture of both bones of the right leg and severe scalp wounds.
JACOB MACKIE, injured internally.
H. U. HAYES, whole upper jaw blown away, nose and right ear gone, and both legs broken.
JOHN O. BLAINE, injured internally.
JOSEPH BANNIE, injured internally.

Evening Gazette Sterling Illinois 1890-09-08