Mountain View, NJ Powder Mill Explosion, Jul 1890



Special to the Inquirer.
Newark, July 24. - The little hamlet of Mountain View, on the line of the Greenwood Lake Railroad, near Pampton Plains, was shaken from end to end today by a terrible explosion, which killed two men, injured several others and wrecked buildings in the immediate vicinity. The explosion took place in the grinding room of the Loftus & Rand powder mill.
The mill consists of ten or a dozen small one-story buildings scattered over considerable territory at the lower end of Pampton Plains. The grinding mill was located some distance from the other buildings. Only two men are allowed to be in the mill at one time and people are kept a good distance from it. The two workmen were in the place as usual today, when a loud report was heard. The earth in the neighborhood vibrated, the glass in windows was shattered and a cloud of smoke and dust rolled heavenward.
When the smoke cleared away the grinding mill was missing, and all that marked the place where it stood was a hole in the ground. People in the vicinity after recovering their composure, hastened to the place, but all that could be found of the two workmen who were in the mill, when the explosion occurred was a hand and boot several hundred yards away. The men were literally blown to pieces, and in the confusion it was impossible to obtain their names.
A number of workmen on other parts of the ground were injured by flying bricks, but not seriously. What led to the explosion is a mystery, and it will probably, like all other powder mill explosions, remain so. The damage will amount to several thousand dollars.

The Philadelphia Inquirer Pennsylvania 1890-07-25