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A Terrible Plaything.

(From the Wellington Post.) ; An accident of a terribly painful nature Occurred to a youth named Francis Petherick,, the son of a wellknown carpenter residing in Upper Willis street, one 'evening last week. Accompanied by a companion named Henry Bennett,, of about his own age, Petherick, who is 18 years old, and employed by Mr. Denton in Willis street, was walking, up Cuba street, and during the course; of conversation exhibited a dynamite cartridge which had fallen into his possession. Bennett expressed a desire to become acquainted with the manner in which such cartridges are exploded. Petherick explained the modus operand!, and his comrade wishing to see how the fuse burned, the latter applied a lighted match. After a short piece of the fuse had been consumed, Petherick endeavored to put it out, and, being, under the impression that he had succeeded.; in doing 50, transferred the cartridge to his left hand. The course of a few seconds only too unmistakably proved, the erroneousness of the impression. While the instrument- was still in Petherick’s left hand:—the two young men being at this time in front of Mr. Charles Bannister’s shop— a tremendous report, resembling that of a huge piece of ordnance was heard in the neighbourhood, and both were thrown violently to the earth; - The window of Mr. Bannister’s establishment was shattered into a thousand pieces, and it was found that young Bennett had sustained several severe injuries about the arms and legs, while Petherick rose from the ground minus his left hand. One of Mr. Bannister’s assistants quickly fbound Petherick’s left arm, near the wrist, with a pocket handkerchief, and’ shortly afterwards the unfortunate youth was conveyed to f Dr, Diver’s surgery, where a dose of chloroform was administered to the ■sufferer, and the member was amputated, The hand was not discovered, as has been reported. Indeed, the flesh and bones must have been blown into atoms, for the whole of the sinews from the wrist to the tips of the fingers were left hanging to the arm. A most singular thing in connection with this terrible accident was the fact that a piece of the bone of the hand was discovered lodged in the sufferer’s; foot,, it having been blown Tight through theboot. Numbers of persons who did not witness th£ accident, and; heard the report caused t>y the explosion, jumped to the conclusion that a gun had been fired as a signal for the arrival in the harbor of H.M.S. Danae, bringing his Excellency Sir Arthur Gprdon to these shores.

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A Terrible Plaything. Ashburton Guardian, Volume 2, Issue 195, 18 November 1880

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