John McGann Tried to Withdraw Old Cartridge.

Left Hand Blown Off and Jaw Broken— At Hospital in Dangerous Condition.

Dynamite was commonly used used to blast ledge or rock.

NORWOOD, March 28 – A serious dynamite explosion occurred on the site of the new Morrill Memorial Library building early this morning. Four men were employed in blasting the cellar at the time.

It seems that last night, shortly before the end of the day’s work, a boring had been filled with a dynamite cartridge, which, when the fuse was ignited, failed to explode. The cartridge was left undisturbed, and it was decided by contractor Wills to make a new boring, and try another dynamite charge, rather than disturb the old one.

John McGann of Canton had charge of the blasting. He was ordered to make a new drilling, but, instead of doing so, tried to withdraw the old cartridge. In so doing It exploded, and he was thrown some distance. His left arm was blown completely off, the thumb of the right hand was blown off, the rest of the hand horribly lacerated, and his lower jaw was broken.

The other men in the cellar escaped uninjured.

McGann was attended by a doctor, and was then taken to the Massachusetts general hospital. He is 35 years old and unmarried.

McGann’s Case Considered Dangerous.

John McGann of Canton arrived at the Massachusetts general hospital about 9 this morning from Norwood. It is thought that his right hand will have to be amputated. He is bleeding profusely. His case is considered dangerous, as it is feared that he has internal Injuries.

Sat, Mar 28, 1896 – The Boston Globe (Boston, Massachusetts)