Port Colborne explosion

The Port Colborne explosion at Port Colborne, Ontario was a dust explosion in the Dominion grain elevator on August 9, 1919. The blast killed 10 and seriously injured 16 more.

Port Colborne explosion
Grain Elevator after a Dust Explosion at Port Colborne, Ontario
DateAugust 9, 1919 (1919-08-09)
Time1:15 p.m./13:15, Eastern Standard Time
LocationPort Colborne, Ontario, Canada
Coordinates42°52′25″N 79°15′10″W / 42.8736°N 79.2528°W / 42.8736; -79.2528
Non-fatal injuries16

Background edit

A dust explosion is the rapid combustion of fine particles suspended in the air within an enclosed location. Dust explosions can occur where any dispersed powdered combustible material is present in high-enough concentrations in the atmosphere or other oxidizing gaseous medium, such as pure oxygen. Dust explosions are a frequent hazard in coal mines, grain elevators, and other industrial environments. The Port Colborne explosion was just one of five that occurred in North America between May 20 to September 13, 1919, due to a lack of regulations concerning grain shipment. The series of dust explosions resulted in 70 deaths and many more injuries. [1]

Explosion edit

Servicing the grain exports of Canada the concrete structure had a capacity of 2,250,000 US bushels (79,000 m3) was completely destroyed as well as the steamer Quebec which was berthed next to the elevator. The explosion sent flames hundreds of feet in the air and debris blown a 1.5 miles (2.4 km).[2] [3]

See also edit

Event Date Location Country Source material Fatalities Injuries Notes
Milwaukee Works explosion May 20, 1919 Milwaukee, Wisconsin   United States Feed grinding plant 3 4 The blast was felt for miles around and completely leveled the plant owned by the company.
Douglas Starch Works explosion May 22, 1919 Cedar Rapids, Iowa   United States corn starch 43 30 The blast was felt for miles around and completely leveled the plant owned by the company.
Port Colborne explosion August 9, 1919 Port Colborne   Canada grain 10 16 Blast also destroyed the steamer, Quebec which was near the grain elevator
Large terminal grain elevator in Kansas City September 13, 1919 Kansas City, Missouri   United States 14 10 Originated in basement of elevator, during a cleanup period, and travelled up through the elevator shaft

Bibliography edit


  1. ^ Erie Media 2019.
  2. ^ The Daily Ardmoreite & August 10,1919, p. 1.
  3. ^ The Washington Herald 1919, p. 1.


  • The Daily Ardmoreite (2019). "Elevator Explosion in Canada Kills 5 Men". The Daily Ardmoreite. Ardmore, Oklahoma: John F. Easley. pp. 1–14. ISSN 1065-7894. OCLC 12101538. Retrieved August 12, 2019.
  • Erie Media (April 29, 2019). "Remembering the Dominion Grain Elevator explosion of 1919". Erie Media. Retrieved August 12, 2019.
  • The Washington Herald (August 10, 1919). "5 Killed. 14 injured in Canadian blast". The Washington Herald. Washington, D.C. pp. 1–28. ISSN 1941-0662. OCLC 9470809. Retrieved August 12, 2019.