South Charleston, WV Chemical Plant Explosion, Oct 1931

TWO MEN FATALLY INJURED BY EXPLOSION AT BLAINE ISLAND PLANT OF CARBON AND CARBIDE.

DR. YOUNG, DIRECTOR OF RESEARCH, AND CARL PENNELL, PIPEFITTER ARE VICTIMS.

BLAST'S FORCE BLOWS BOTH OUT WINDOWS TO GROUND.

WORKMAN DIES IN AMBULANCE AND CHEMIST AT HOSPITAL.

Explosion of a new piece of equipment at about 9:40 o'clock last night fatally injured two men and slightly hurt another at one of the Blaine Island units of the Carbide and Carbon Chemicals corporation plant at South Charleston.
The dead are:
DR. C. O. YOUNG, about 40, of Poplar Road, Edgewood, Charleston.
CARL M. PENNELL, 34, of 309 Tremont Street, South Charleston.
The injured man was GEORGE WILLIAMS of 324 Tremont Street.
MR. PENNELL died in an Owen and Barth ambulance, en route to the Kanawha Valley Hospital in Charleston.
DR. YOUNG died in the hospital at about 11:30 o'clock last night.
MR. WILLIAMS was a patient in the hospital last night, but his condition was not considered serious.
DR. YOUNG and MR. PENNELL were killed by the injuries received in falling. They were blown out windows near the top of the building and fell to the ground below.
J. M. Topham, plant superintendent, said that DR. YOUNG, who was director of the plant's research department, MR. PENNELL and MR. WILLIAMS, pipefitters, and probably three or four other workmen were laboring in the building, preparatory to starting a new operation. They observed that a new piece of equipment, placed high in the building, was leaking and ascended to repair it. The cause of the explosion had not been determined last night. The blast blew the two men out the windows and to the ground, about 40 feet below.
Details of the accident had not been ascertained last night, Mr. Topham, said. He had not been to the plant, having hurried to DR. YOUNG'S bedside at the hospital, and did not know what damage had been done to the equipment. There was no fire as an aftermath of the explosion.
Last night's accident was the first serious one in the history of the plant, Mr. Topham explained.
DR. YOUNG, who had been employed at the plant for about six years, is survived by his widow and one son.
MR. PENNELL is survived by his mother, Mrs. M. M. Pennell, two brothers, J. M. and W. H. Pennell, and two sisters, Miss Helen Pennell and Mrs. M. A. Myers, all of South Charleston.

Charleston Gazette West Virginia 1931-10-25