My apologies for the blurriness of this article but I just had to put it in. It reads;
A GELIGNITE EXPLOSION.
The great amount of risk with which the handling of gelignite is attended was illus- trated here yesterday, when a miner named M. O’Meara had a very narrow escape. A charge, of gelignite had not exploded satis- factorily, and O’Meara put a plug, which he intended using in the next charge, in the sun to soften. After leaving it there for half an hour he picked it up, but by some mischance let it fall from his hand on to a stone. The gelignite exploded, scattering stones and gravel in all directions. O’Meara was much cut about the face and arm with flying stones, and rendered almost deaf and blind for the time. The force of the explosion was so great that O’Meara was thrown several feet away, and the shirt sleeve torn from his arm.
I don’t know too much about explosives, just to be VERY careful with them, so I am not sure how dropping gelignite managed to detonate it. I do know however, that if I had a stick of gelignite I would be far more careful than to leave it in the sun for half an hour and then drop it on a rock.
I think that once O’Meara regained his sight and hearing, his flying-gravel rash healed and he bought a new shirt, he probably learned to be a bit more careful with explosives too.
I was thrilled whan I found this article because my Great Great Grandfather’s name was Morgan O’Mara (or O’Meara depending on who wrote the document). He was a miner and a farmer and lived in the Bulumwaal area at that time.
There is a chance that this blown up O’Meara and the O’Mara I wrote about in the post on the 17th of March are the same person. That O’Mara found diamonds when he was looking for gold. If these O’Meara O’Mara’s are the same person he definitely has luck on his side (still haven’t won Tatts, clearly he used it all up before I was even thought of…. 😉 )
This article shows how lucky the kids a few posts ago were. They were playing with far more than one stick of gelignite and I think that careful was probably the last thing they were being.