1860 - January 10 - The Pemberton Mill in Lawrence, Massachusetts, USA, collapses, killing 146 workers.
The collapse of Pemberton Mill has been deemed the worst industrial accident in Massachusetts history and one of the worst industrial disasters in American history. On January 10, 1860, the large factory in Lawrence collapsed without warning. An estimated 145 workers were killed and 166 injured. To add to the horror, someone accidentally knocked over an oil lantern during the rescue efforts. The flames caught on the mounds of cotton waste and splintered wood, turning the wreckage into an inferno with many survivors still trapped in the refuse and burned alive. Many of the workers at the mill had been women and young children.