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[“home news.”]

Since the introduction of gas we have had one or two startling experiences in connection with gas-holders in this country, but we have had no accident precisely corresponding to one that has just befallen a huge receptacle of the kind in America. This was nothing less than the total collapse of a gasometer 99 feet in diameter, and capable of holding 300,000 feet of gas. Fortunately, it was only about onethird full. The gasometer, it seems, had been standing shout thirteen years, and the character of the iron and workmanship is now seen to have been such that it is considered surprising that it has stood so long. It went down eventually under a gale of wind, and the president of the company was present and witnessed the final collapse, as it fell, he says, there was a hissing sound, and a column of flame shot fifty feet high into the air, and the gasometer was rent and torn like a great balloon cut in pieces. There was no explosion; it was simply the collapse of the gasometer and the ignition of the gas, the whole 100,000 feet of which was consumed in about one minute. People near were momentarily blinded by the intense light, and of course many were very much terrified, but nobody was hurt. The president of the company stood in a doorway within 30 feet of the receptacle when it fell, and says he had no fear. The possibility of one of these huge concerns blowing up was among the terrors incidental to the early use of gas. It is now generally known, however, that carburetted hydrogen is not in itself explosive, but it becomes so by admixture with a certain proportion of atmospheric air. The fact that there was no explosion to speak of was probably due to the ignition taking place at the instant of the crash, and before any such intermingling could take place.

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Bibliographic details

THE WRECK OF A GASOMETER., Ashburton Guardian, Volume III, Issue 678, 3 July 1882

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THE WRECK OF A GASOMETER. Ashburton Guardian, Volume III, Issue 678, 3 July 1882