The explosion at the U. S. Arsenal in Pittsburgh — horrible Scenes.
The terrible explosion at the U. S. Arsenal at Pittsburg
, on the 17th, has been noticed. --About one hundred and fifty girls were employed in the building in which the explosion occurred, putting up fixed ammunition, and of these over eighty were killed instantly, or so horribly wounded that they died soon after.
The buildings were blown to atoms, and the bodies of the inmates carried high into the sky. The greater number, however, perished by fire while lying under the ruins of the shattered buildings.
The streets leading to the ground were filled with an excited crowd, including hundreds of frantic women, who rushed wildly through the multitude, shrieking and sobbing as though their hearts would break.
We entered at the upper gate, and at the very were met by evidence of the terrible force of the explosion.
The grounds were covered with fragments of charred wood, canister shot, sheet iron
, exploded cartridges, Minnie balls, "c., some of which had fallen fully four hundred yards from the scene of the explosion.
Ascending the side of the hill towards the laboratory buildings, the first object that attracted our attention was the body of one of the victims partly covered with a sheet.
It was lying where it fell, nearly three hundred yards from the scene of the explosion, and presented a most horrible spectacle.
The flesh had been blown, as it were from the bones, and the corpse little better than a hideouts, shapeless pulp.
From the hair it was evident that the body was that of a females, but the identification was out of the question.
Higher up lay ther, disfigured in the same frightful manner; and badly burned besides, and around as far as the eye could reach lay fragments of human remains — here an arm, there a leg.
, foreman of rooms Nos. 13 and 14, states that at the time of the first explosion he was standing on the porch in front of the engine room.
He heard the cries of the girls, and immediately proceeded to the main building.
On his way he met several of those employed in his rooms who were unhurt, but who kept up a continual shrieking, and could not inform him what was the matter Hurrying on he met a girl enveloped in flames, whom, with the assistance of another man, he attempted to carry away from the building: but, as they were passing the engine room, the roof of that building was thrown off and partially fell on them, and they were compelled to forsake the injured girl to save their own lives.
By this time the main building was enveloped in flames, a second and third explosion having taken place.
There were about one hundred and forty five persons engaged in the building, of which about one hundred and thirty were girls, employed as pinchers and bundlers.
Some twenty boys were engaged as charges and in making cap cylinders.--After the second explosion, the flames burial forth from every part of the ruins, and it was impossible to render any assistance to the unfortunate women within.
Two of the unfortunates, one named Mary Dugan
, and Mary Donnelly
, were carried underneath a tree, and prompt medical aid furnished them.
A physician, finding there was no hope for the recovery of Miss Dugan
, at her request made an eloquent and touching prayer ill her behalf, in which he was joined by hundreds around him. The poor girl survived her injuries but one hour.
had the consolations of religion administered to her by a priest in attendance.
Both of these girls suffered intensely.
At the lower end of the grounds is stiletted a very lengthy building, in which some three honored girls were employed.
On hearing the fire explosion, the girls rushed frantically for the doors, and it was with difficulty the foreman could keep them in the building.
When the second explosion occurred, the girls became so terrified that they could not be restrained, and they rushed to the windows, broke them open, and precipitated themselves to the ground, a distance of some thirty feet. They ran around the grounds shrieking, some of them bleeding from wounds obtained in jumping through the windows, and the sight they exhibited was enough to strike terror in any one.
Some of them ran in the direction of their homes, and did not stop until sheer exhaustion compelled them to.
The horrors of the scene presented at this great destruction of life were heightened by the agonizing screams of relatives and friends upon discovering the remains of some loved one whose humble earnings contributed to their comfort.
Again others were frantically rushing from one charged body to another, looking in vain for a daughter or a sister who was employed in the ill fated building.
There was not a particle of clothing left on a majority of them, and, mangled and disjointed as they were, it was utterly impossible to identify them.
The very stockings were torn from their feet, rings from their fingers, and in some instances nothing out a headless trunk remained Nevertheless many were identified by their hair, by a scrap of the dress they wrote, "c.; but the greatest number never can be fully recognized.
In the pif of the stomach of the headless trunk we saw there was embedded about a dozen Minnie balls.
That some of the unfortunate girls were thrown high in the air by the explosion, is evinced by the fact that on the branches of time of the trees around the building pieces of dresses were to be seen, which must have been torn from their bodies in their descent.