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The TALES you probably never heard about

TERRIFIC EXPLOSION

REEB’S POWDER HOUSE EXPLODES

DESTRUCTION OF GLASS FACTORY, LIME KILNS, ETC.

Port Colborne News

[Welland Tribune, 20 August 1897]

PORT COLBORNE, Aug.19- Reeb’s powder house, about two miles west of here, was exploded during the thunder about 5 o’clock this morning. The building contained nearly two tons of powder and some dynamite, and the earth was shaken for miles around, the shock being startlingly perceptible at St. Catharines, Thorold and Niagara Falls, generally supposed at the time to be an earthquake. The powder house was of course blown to atoms. Foster’s glass factory, Reeb’s offices and barns and one of the lime kilns were completely wrecked, and the barns burned. It is impossible as yet to estimate the damage at this writing.

Three plate glass windows were broken in Matthews’ block, and windows suffered severely in Port Colborne and Humberstone. Houses trembled and people were terribly alarmed.

At Solid Comfort windows were broken, and in almost every cottage mirrors, pictures, etc., were torn from the wall and numerous breakages suffered.

No lives were lost so far as known, owing to the hour being so early that no one had yet come to the works. Had the explosion occurred later a still sadder tale would have been to be told.

It is supposed the explosion was caused by lightning.

The shock was so severely felt in Buffalo that the papers of that city came out with a column account of “the earthquake.”  It was also felt in Tonawanda.

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