1928 - FOUR AKRON BOYS KILLED BY BLAST. FIRED DRUM OF BENZINE UNDER SHED. THREE BROTHERS AND PLAYMATE DIE AND FIFTH OF GROUP MAY LIVE ALTHOUGH BADLY BURNED.
Akron, April 30 - Four boys, three of them brothers, were killed and a fifth was seriously injured when a steel drum of benzine exploded in a shed at the rear of the Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company plant here Sunday.
Those killed were:
CHARLES CARTER, 14.
ALBERT CARTER, 10.
LEEMAN CARTER, 5.
FREDERICK WADTLY, JR., 13.
LESLIE BUSH, 14, was badly burned although physicians believe he will recover.
The drum exploded when one of the boys lighted a match fumes apparently were leaking from the container and as the match ignited there was a terrific explosion. The five boys were deluged with blazing benzine.
One of the lads was killed instantly. Screams of the others brought nearby residents to the scene. They wrapped the boys in blankets and rushed them to hospitals where they died, one by one.
ALBERT CARTER was said to have struck the match.
LEEMAN CARTER staggered to a point across the street from the blast where he collapsed. His brothers managed to crawl some distance before they too collapsed, unconscious.
The WADTLY boy was killed by a piece of flying steel.
The shed had been used as a storage house for fire hose.
The drum had been standing in the shed for several months, persons living in the vicinity said.
The public relations department of the Goodyear company disclaimed ownership.
Herbert Maxon, public relations director, began an immediate inquiry which, he said he hoped would prove ownership.
Police likewise began an investigation.
Fragments of the drum were blown 100 feet. Only the lid remained. The shed was partially destroyed.
The scene immediately following the blast was poignantely tragic.
The father of the WADTLY boy - drawn to the scene by the detonation -- hastened to call an ambulance. He did not know his son was among the victims.
The lad's sister stopped her father.
"I believe FREDERICK is one of those hurt papa," she said.
WADTLY returned. He identified his boy by a mouth organ found in his pocket.
A spirited marble game preceded the explosion.
A call "to come to supper" broke up the game and as the lads prepared to disband, ALBERT stepped to the benzine tank and struck the match.
The body of the WADTLY boy was hurled into a pile of stacked tiling.
Parents of the boys were grief-stricken and tragic scenes were enacted as the burned and bruised forms were wrapped in the blankets.
A triple funeral service will be held for the CARTER brothers.
Sandusky Star Journal
April 30, 1928
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