York Town Square

Part of the USAToday Network

A list of traumatic, painful incidents that rocked York County

An ATF agent and Spring Garden Fire officials investigate the ruins shortly after the explosion at York International on Feb. 2, 1998. The York Daily Record reported that four compressed air tanks, measuring about 25-feet long by 4-feet wide, exploded. One tank flew through the roof of the Grantley Road plant’s Building 9 in Spring Garden Township. The tanks contained pressurized air and refrigerant. The mixture was used to test air conditioners at the plant. Dennis Stough, a 42-year-old welder, was killed. Twenty people were injured, including five police officers who suffered from chemical inhalation. (See aerial view of the damage below, also courtesy of York Daily Record/Sunday News.) Background posts: All York International/Johnson Controls posts from the start and Deadly York fire: ‘There never was a more horrible one’ and Hanover Civil War story stop: ‘Mother Loses Two Sons to War’.

A fire that consumed 16 rowhouses and displaced 61 people in York City last week led to a York Town Square blog list that gave a sampling of the worst fires in York County history.
Arson is suspected.
That raises the question about peacetime examples of crime and trauma on York County soil, in addition to those wrenching fires.
Here are links to a sampling – just a few of many – of those painful moments:

This area view shows York International’s plant after the Feb. 2, 1998 explosion. The shock of the explosion was felt 30 miles away.
1908: ‘Boiler Explosion At York Rolling Mills Kills 9 Men; 20 injured’.
Witman murder among York County’s most notorious crimes..
Freight locomotive ‘telescoped’ runaway Stewartstown Railroad car.
Tropical Storm Agnes, by the numbers.
The Great Watermelon Train Wreck?
In 1998, massive explosion kills worker at York International.
100th anniversary of drunken, deadly Pleasureville brawl.
40 injured in stampede to exit Zion View church.
West York ritualistic suicide forgotten by many, but investigators remember.
Meeting of York race riot victims brought hope for racial accord.
Hex murder compared to O.J.’s, Anna Nicole Smith’s cases.
Errant pickup driver knocked on-duty fire policeman out of his shoes.
York County educator recounts machete attack on ‘I Survived…’ .
It couldn’t happen in York County? Women were trampled in Depression-era labor unrest.
Civil War Battle of Hanover resulted in more than 300 blue and gray casualties.