1908 - GRAIN DUST ACTS LIKE GUNPOWDER. EXPLOSION IN AN ELEVATOR KILLS THIRTEEN. TWO WOMEN ARE VICTIMS.
THEY WERE PASSING THE PLACE - OTHERS DEAD WERE WORKMEN - FIRE THAT FOLLOWS SPREADS, AND A NUMBER OF FREIGHT CARS ARE DESTROYED - SHOCK ROCKS ENTIRE VILLAGE - TRAINS ON THE CANADIAN PACIFIC ROAD ARE BLOCKED BY THE DISASTER.
Richford, Vt., Oct. 8. - An explosion of dust and gases in a large grain elevator jointly owned by the Canadian Pacific and the Boston and Maine railroads in this village caused the death of at least thirteen persons. It is possible that the death roll may be increased when a search of the ruins can be made.
The explosion blew off the entire roof of the big building, scattering timbers in all directions, and almost instantly flames burst out over the whole structure. Twenty-one men were employed in the building.
MRS. JOHN JELIFORE, who was walking with a companion along the Canadian Pacific railroad track close to the elevator, was burned to death, and an unknown woman who was with her was burned so seriously that she died later.
So quickly did the flames, which are supposed to have started by spontaneous combustion in the dry dust of the grain, extend throughout the building that the limited fire apparatus of the village was of no avail. Nothing could be done to prevent the entire destruction of the elevator and its valuable contents.
The heat set fire to a flour shed near the elevator, and the shed, together with seventy-five freight cars, which were standing near it were burned.
The wreckage from the explosion and fire blocked the tracks of the Canadian Pacific railroad completely for many hours, so it was necessary for trains to make a detour by way of Sherbrooke, Que.
The total loss is estimated at $400,000.
Orange County Times-Press
Middletown, New York
October 9, 1908
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