Tuesday, February 28, 2017

July 19, 1930


Victims in Michigan Disaster Sprayed With Flames.

MT. PLEASANT, Mich., July 19. - (United News) - The first major disaster of the newly-developed Michigan oil fields had taken a toll of seven lives today after a wild gusher exploded and scattered blazing oil over a crowd of 2,000 persons.

Men, women and children, who had flocked to see the state's biggest oil "strike" were caught in the fiery blast shortly after nightfall last night. The well was a column of flames today while hundreds of men fought to bring it under control.

The known dead were:

Mrs. Walter L. McClanahan, 35, wife of the well owner.

Mrs. E. J. Guy, 45, wife of the general superintendent of the Roosevelt Refinery.

Ruby Melvin, 13, Mount Pleasant.

Mrs. Robert C. Guy, 18, Mt. Pleasant.

Arwin E. Gorham, wealthy Mt. Pleasant manufacturer.

Marion Fugate, 28, Mt. Pleasant.

Mrs. Thomas Lamb, 25, Mt. Pleasant.

Two others were so seriously burned that they are not expected to live.

A cigaret carelessly dropped by a member of the crowd was blamed for the tragedy.

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Pittsburgh, PA 20 Jul 1931

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