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Mine Disasters in the United States

Rohl-Connolly Granite Quarry Explosives Detonation

Avalon, Los Angeles County, California
November 12, 1934
No. Killed - 9

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7 Killed in Catalina Explosion
Nevada State Journal, Reno
November 13, 1934

Avalon, Catalina Island, Cal., Nov. 12. -- (UP) -- Seven workmen were burned to death and one other injured seriously today in an explosion of 900 cans of blasting powder at a seashore rock quarry here.

The dead:
  • Marion Paul, 23
  • Kenneth Ernest Smith, 23
  • Angel Hernandez, 37
  • Herman Bermudas, 37
  • Peter Hansen, 38
  • Manuel Flores, 20
  • Russell Lauders, all of Avalon
  • John Halverson, suffered third degree burns
Paul was killed almost instantly when a spark, caused by a pick-axe striking a powder can, touched off the powder as the workmen were transferring it from cans to sacks for blasting purposes.

Smith died in a hospital an hour later, and then one by one the others succumbed to the burns, despite the efforts of a corps of doctors and nurses rushed by plane from Wilmington, across the channel on the mainland.

The men were employed on the Rohl-Connolly quarry.

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