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EXPLOSION OF A TON OF DYNAMITE.

A quantity of dynamite which was considered to be in a dangerous condition, owing to its having leaked from the cases in which it was packed, was j exploded in Hobson’s Bay on Decenr- r . ber 3rd, under the superintendence of : Messrs J. Cosmo Newbery and R. J. L. Ellery. On the Friday precedi ■ says the Age, forty-six cases were pF -.;JB£a in the hold of the powder hulbgoMl pieces of sailcloth, covered quantity of bran for the purpose absorbing the fluid nitro - which was issuing from the cases. hulk was then towed to Laverton where she was moored for the mgnt.7* About eleven o’clock on Saturday, Messrs Newbery and Ellery proceeded, in the steam launch of the Cerberus,? with a few assistants and the necessary material, to the scene of operations. At first it was intended to fire the stui£ in detachments, but owing to the gredt risk incurred in handling such a dangerous compound, it was finally deter-. „ mined to explode it all together. The work of taking the dynamite out of the hold and lowering it into the water was one which was fraught with great danger,. ’ owing to the necessity existing for the most delicate manipulation of the cases. r l his was, however, successfully accomplished, under the superintendence of Mr Newbery, and the whole of the 40 cases were safely deposited together in 30 feet of water. The powder hulk J was then towed away, and a buoy placed to mark the spot. At about' half-past 3 all the arrangements were,, completed. A quantity of gun cotton 1 ' was placed on the top of the dynamite, and when the steam launch was aC a, distance of 300 yards away, the exploding charge and firing cable were ’ lowered down. Three or four attempts • were made to explode the stuff, but from some unexplained cause they were fruitless. Eventually, about fa p.m., an unusually carefully prepanffjcharge was lowered, and a cessful explosion ensued. result was the upheaval of an immeme. area of solid water. The real J&b plosion, which was a most magnified*** spectacle, occurred almost simultaneously. It took the form of the . uplifting of an enormous compact column of water to the height of 30a. feet, capped by snow-white spray, the . lighter portions of which, drifting to leeward, caused a beautiful rainbow to. be visible for a considerable time. The [ whole surface of the bay for a considerable distance was rendered densely muddy, and covered with foam. The , explosion of so large a quantity as a , ton of dynamite caused some little ; anxiety as to the result, but the shoe 1 ' . felt by those on board the launch and' whale boat, the former of which was. only 250 yards distant, was compara- [ lively slight. Large quantities of small fish, which were either killed or [ stunned by the explosion, were im- . mediately seized by flocks of sea gulls, who were attracted to the. feast.

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Permanent link to this item

http://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/AG18811231.2.14

Bibliographic details

EXPLOSION OF A TON OF DYNAMITE., Ashburton Guardian, Volume III, Issue 523, 31 December 1881

Word Count
493

EXPLOSION OF A TON OF DYNAMITE. Ashburton Guardian, Volume III, Issue 523, 31 December 1881

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