Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Explosion of Nitro-Glycerine! Death of Alexander Dye

The Marietta Register, July 11, 1872

One Man Killed – Three children and One Woman Fearfully Burned – House Made a Wreck

Editor Register:

Thursday night, July 4th, about half past 11, the few who were at work at that hour on Cow Run, were startled by a loud report, which at first was thought, from its direction, to be the boiler of the Grecian Bend Well, or some patriotic individual celebrating the “Fourth.” Immediately afterwards, John Bush was aroused by Mrs. Rebecca Dye, begging him to come to their house, as one of the logs had fallen on her husband and killed him. Bush and another neighbor, McCoy, went to his assistance; but the sight was such a sickening one, they were compelled to seek more help before they could muster courage to enter the house.

The scene was a frightful one. The house was shattered to pieces, the sides blown out, the chimney rent from top to bottom, and every article of furniture in the house scattered in every direction. Dye was lying on the floor, entirely divested of clothing, his left arm blown off midway between hand and elbow, his throat fearfully torn, (his windpipe being cut), five holes in the chest just below the left nipple, his body and legs one mass of small wounds, both legs below the knee being riddled by grains of corn, some ears of which were in the loft above. He lived but a few minutes after assistance came, and was unable to give any account of the cause of the accident; his only words were, “I am killed.” Mrs. Dye was slightly wounded on the ankles, and three of the children are seriously injured, but will probably recover.

An inquest was held on Friday, and the following facts were elicited: Some time since, Palmer, agent for the Roberts Torpedo Co., was at Cow Run torpedoing a well, and having some surplus nitro-glycerine, instead of taking it away with him, placed in an old coal bank near Dye’s house, at the entrance of which is the spring from which Dye’s family were supplied with water. The children, in some of their visits to the spring, discovered the can, and thinking it contained oil, carried it to the house, and Mrs. Dye filled up the lamp from the can the day previous. After filling up the lamp, the can was placed in a little pen or chicken coop, some distance from the house, and to this circumstance the rest of the family owe their lives, as the can contains probably between one and two quarts of nitro-glycerine. The night of the accident the family were all in bed, and Dye, who had risen for some purpose, lit the lamp, and almost immediately the lamp exploded; but in what way cannot now be ascertained, as Mrs. Dye is unable to give any satisfactory account of what transpired.

The jury found a verdict that Alexander Dye came to his death by the explosion of a lamp containing nitro- glycerine, and censure the carelessness of Palmer in leaving the nitro-glycerine


No comments: