Gasoline Explosion at Oneonta
As a result of a gasoline explosion at Oneonta. N. Y., at 7:15 p. m. May 30. two women lost their lives and several others were injured. The proprietor of a garage and his machinist opened a 55-gallon iron gasoline tank in a small court which separates the garage from the Hathaway Hotel, and when the plug was unscrewed, gasoline, under great pressure, scattered in fine spray through the atmosphere and into the hotel kitchen, some 20 feet from the tank, where it was exploded bv the heat of the kitchen stove. Mrs. Carrie Lothrop, an employee of the hotel, was alone in the kitchen. Mrs. Easton, who was in another room, heard Mrs. Lothrop’s cry and started to go to the kitchen, but was held back for a minute or so by another employee, and then rushed into the kitchen where Mrs. Lothrop was enveloped in flames. Both women in flames rushed into the street, where men wrapped them in coats and rugs and extinguished the flames. Both were badly burned and died of their burns the following afternoon. The fire department was called and arrived just in time to be caught in a second explosion, which sent a sheet of flames into the air, injuring many, including several firemen, but none of them severely. The fire was quickly extinguished. Chief Crotty two days later took another gasoline tank, similar to the one that exploded and near it, and which did not explode, to a field and opened it after water had been played on it for 24 hours. When the plug was unscrewed the gasoline escaped in vapor just as it escaped from the exploded tank, which in a few minutes lay as a thick fog over the ground. As soon as danger was over two bottles of gasoline were secured as samples; but so unstable was the gasoline that one bottle burst and the contents vaporized as soon as the chief tried to put a stopper in it. Finally, all being made safe, a fire was built around the tank and everybody retired to a respectful distance. An explosion followed, the top of the tank being thrown high in the air.