Skip to main content

Bodies Melted by Liquid Steel!

Eliza Furnace, Pittsburgh, PA

On the 16th of January, 1907, a horrific explosion took place at the Eliza Furnace of the Jones & Laughlin steel works in Pittsburgh. Molten metal rained down on everything and everyone within a 40-foot radius of the furnace, causing unimaginably gruesome injuries to the 35 men who were employed at the furnace. The bodies of more than a dozen men were never recovered, and it is generally believed that these unfortunate steelworkers were "melted" beneath six feet of molten metal. According to the deputy coroner, one victim's injuries were so excruciatingly painful that the young man threw himself into a vat of liquid steel just to put an end to the nightmare.

The following account of the accident appeared in the January 17, 1907, edition of the Cameron County Press:

Were Melted in Liquid Steel

Pittsburg, Pa.-- Partial investigation to ascertain the number of fatalities that occurred at the Eliza furnace of the Jones & Laughlin Steel Co. Wednesday night, when an accumulation of gas exploded, bursting the base of the furnace and showering tons of molten metal over about 40 men, was completed last night and shows that the bodies of 12 men, horribly mutilated, have been recovered. From 15 to 20 men are missing, it being generally believed their bodies were consumed by the hot metal, and ten men are in hospitals terribly burned, four of them expected to die.

It is doubtful whether the number of men killed will ever be known. From present indications over 15 men were caught like rats in a trap by the fiery metal, which flowed over their bodies to a depth of six feet. No trace of them, it is said, will ever be found. Of the dead bodies now in the morgue, several are minus arms, legs and head.

The condition of the injured is pitiful. A number of the men have their eyes burned out and others were so badly injured that amputations of arms and limbs were necessary. A gruesome story is told by Deputy Coroner Laidley, who says that one foreigner, apparently a youth, became crazed by his injuries and before he could be prevented leaped into a pot of molten metal and was incinerated.

Popular posts from this blog

Mount Carmel's Mysterious Suicide Cell

Tucked away at the head of North Oak Street in Mount Carmel is a quaint shop housed in a tiny historic brick building. The Shop at Oak & Avenue is a must-see destination for visitors, offering an impressive variety of gifts and handmade jewelry. It is a gem in an otherwise drab coal town whose glory days faded away with the demise of the steam locomotive and the trolley.

While this quaint small town gift shop gives off a pleasant appearance, the history of the building-- one of the oldest in the borough-- is tinged with horror and death. For this tiny building, erected in the 1880s, served as Mount Carmel's first city hall and jail, and this jail had a rather dark distinction of being the site of the cursed and mysterious "suicide cell".

History records six suicides taking place in the basement cell, along with scores of other attempted suicides. For a reason that has defied explanation, this tiny jail in this tiny town seems to bring out the darkest demons lurking wi…

The Lutz Axe Murder

A small two-story house standing at the corner of Franklin and Montgomery streets in West Pittston presents a humble appearance. Simple in design and white in color, it is remarkable only because it is so unremarkable. A local resident may drive by the house every day for years without ever noticing it, or thinking about it. Certainly, from its understated appearance, nobody would ever guess that this humble house was the home of John Lutz, who, in 1899, committed of the most heinous murders in the history of Luzerne County.

The tiny house at the corner of Franklin and Montgomery is, in fact, a murder house. It is the scene of a gruesome crime that took place more than a century ago. What you are about to read is the story of that house and the killer who lived inside.

On November 29, 1899, John Lutz came home to his 31-year-old wife, Augusta, and their five young children. Lutz, who was nearly ten years older than his wife, was said to have been suffering from feelings of jealousy. Th…

Natalie, Pennsylvania: A Murderer's Paradise

When a miner named Michael Wanzie was murdered in June of 1905, it was evident that something wasn't quite right in the tiny village of Natalie. Although the scenic mountain village had a population of less than two hundred, the slaying of Michael Wanzie was the fourth murder committed in the village in less than a decade.

By 1924 the population had nearly doubled, thanks to a building "boom" that saw the construction of 40 new homes during the preceding year by builders employed by the Colonial Collieries Company, owners of the Natalie Colliery. Twenty of these homes, many of which still stand today, were built by the Evert Construction Company of Kulpmont. In 1923 there were 56 homes in the village, housing 375 residents. By April of 1924 that number would swell to just under 400 residents and 93 homes.

Although the building boom lent a measure of respectability to the village, Natalie was still imbued with a notorious reputation as being one of the most lawless places …