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.......-,-FEARFUL EXPLOSION…

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FEARFUL EXPLOSION IN THE HARTLE- POOL TEMPERANCE HALL. •An explosion of a fearful character took place in the Hartlepool Temperance Hall on Friday night, by which two females were frightfully injured. A Mr. and Mrs. Morley, together with some local vocalists, who have recently been conducting the People's Con- cert Hall, announced their favourite entertainment in the Temperance Hall for Friday night, and, during the evening, "Pepper's Ghost" had to fee exhibited, under the management of Mr. Morley. A t about a quarter-past eight o'clock there was a tolerably large audience assembled awaiting the commencement of the entertainment, when a bright light illuminated the side of, the building, succeeded by a most violent report, resembling the sound of some heavy ordnance. The whole building shook, the seats rattled, and the people were lifted from their seats, and the greatest consternation prevailed amongst the assembly. Dense volumes of smoke began to ascend .the staircase at each side of the platform and through the boards, and before the people had time to know the position they were placed in-whether an accident had occurred, or whether it was the preliminary of the ghost illusion—they were almost suffocated. A cry of Fire was raised, and a rush was made to the dif- ferent doors. In the passage leading into the rooms occupied by the keeper a frightful spectacle met the eye. Two females were enveloped in flames, and were writhing in agony on the floor. Mr. Morley and Mr. Reed were the two first to enter the place, and all was in darkness, except where the flames produced by the burning clothing of the two females cast a light, which was the only means by which they could discover where the poor women were. They managed to drag them out from among the debris almost in a state of insensibility, and succeeded in extinguishing the flames, but not without burning their own hands. One of the females was the wife of Mr. Reed, the hall keeper, and she was burned in a most frightful manner, and bruised in various parts of the body by the fragments which were scattered about. Medical aid was immediately sent for, and although Mrs. Reed suffers most excruciatingly from the burns, her injuries are not of such a nature as are expected to produce fatal results. The other woman is named Mrs. White, wife of a seaman, but her injuries are not of so serious a character as those of Mrs. Reed, although she has one very serious burn on the side of her neck. It appears Mr. Morley had obtained leave from Mr. Reed to manufacture the gas required for the lime light neeessary for the gas illusion in his kitchen, and a little after eight o'clock he had all his apparatus ready, and a large fire was made Tip at his request. The crucible, containing a large quantity of black oxide of manganese, and double the amount of chlorate of potass, was placed on the fire, con- nected by a tube to a retort. Mrs. Reed and Mrs. White were sitting opposite the fireplace, and they inquired of Mr. Morley if there was any danger in the preparation, and he said it was "quite harmless." He left the room for a few minutes to attend to some, other business, and in his absence the chemicals ex- ploded in consequence of heat being rapidly applied making four times the amount of gas the tube to the retort would convey. The oven, copper, and stove were blown into the middle of the room, the furniture was destroyed, the windows smashed into atoms, the ceiling came down, the door was blown off, and the fenders and fire-irons were broken into numerous fragments, and scattered with terrible force about the room, making innumerable indentations in the walls. The females were sitting one at each side of the table, and the chairs and table were smashed to pieces, and how they escaped with their lives seems to astonish every one who has visited the scene of the explosion. A large iron bar from the fire-grate was sent two inches into the passage wall directly in a line with where the females ware sitting.

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