|Transcribed by Norma Knottts Shaffer from microfilm of the Calhoun
Chronicle dated 3/18/1902.
A Horrible Accident
Gas Pipe Bursted at Cabot's Factory Friday;
Gas Caught Fire and Lum Shafer is
Now in Eternity, as the Result.
MOST HORRIBLE ACCIDENT IN HISTORY OF THE COUNTY
With His Clothes Saturated with Paraffine
He was Caught in the Flames and
Burned to a Crisp Before
He Could Get Out.
Another horrible accident has happened at the Carbon works below
- a heart-rending sickening accident, the like of which it has never
been our sad task to chronicle.
Last Friday morning manager Lou Bickle was trying to connect the
gas line with a ring which was just completed, and was assisted in the
work by Lum Shafer, of Mt. Zion who has been employed at the factory
several months, and who was a hard working industrious, popular
In some way the pipe was thrown in a strain, and directly behind
Shafer the threads on a joint of pipe where it was connected tore
letting the entire pressure strike him. The force knocked Mr.
down and when he got up he ran directly in front of the gas toward a
in which there was a fire. When the gas reached the ring there
an explosion and he was enveloped in an awful flame. The pipe
full of paraffine and when the pressure first broke loose, Mr.
clothes were saturated with it, so when he merged from the fire his
were a mass of flames.
His shrieks of horror were terrible to hear. Men who were
and saw the awful sight shudder at the remembrance, and would fain to
it. He started running from the flames and it was with much
that he was overtaken, and the men could hardly hold him while they
the burning clothes from his body.
Medical aid was summoned, Drs. Ireland, Swentzel and Pickering
the burnt man, and he was brought up to town on the gasolene packet
and taken to the Central Hotel where he died at 11:40 p.m.
Lou Bickle escaped behind one of the rings, but was severely burned
on the hands and arms in tearing the clothes from Mr. Shafer's
Will Deems, who was inside of one of the rings, narrowly escaped death
from the flames. The suction from the door of the ring which he
in drew the flames into it, and his life was saved by him lying flat
the ground tearing out a hole in the bottom part of the ring, through
he got fresh air. It is a terrible disaster and is regretted by
Mr. Bickle was deeply affected and did everything in his power to
the sufferer and make the burden lighter on the afflicted relatives.
The remains were taken to the Mt. Zion Cemetery Saturday to be
Men who have been employed on the factory for months have quit,
a fate similar to that of Mr. Shafer.