Historic Markers Across South Carolina

1953 Gas Explosion

Marker ID:  
Location: on Laurens Street SW south of Richland Avenue W, Aiken, SC
County: Aiken
Coordinates: N 33° 33.677    W 081° 43.369
  33.56128333    -81.72281666
Style: Free Standing **


On January 27, 1953, an explosion caused by a natural gas leak killed ten people and destroyed five buildings on the northern half of this block. The five buildings destroyed were Platt´s Drug Store, the Jones Electric Company (the site of the explosion), R.W. McCreary´s, the Diana Shop, and Liles Drug Company (the former site of Hahn Grocery for many years). The Holley Building and the others to the south, sustained damage, but survived the blast. The ten local citizens (nine from Aiken and one from Graniteville) killed in the accident are here remembered. They are David O. Rutland, Emille C. McCarter, John C. Watson, Charles Nelson Long, Mrs. W.M. Duncan, John Henry "Jack" Neibling, "Bubba" Mosley, Jack Holley, Ruth Madry, and Mae Weeks.

Erected 2009 by Aiken County Historical Society.