Two Killed in Ardmore Blast
Explosion in Heart of Ben
Franklin Co. Refinery
Critically Injures Third
(UPI) --Two men were killed and another was critically critically injured in an explosion and fire which blackened the heart of the Ben Franklin Company Refinery northeast of here today.
The dead were identified as James R. Sons. 29. and Fount Duston, 48, both refinery
employees. In critical condition is J. A. Bradshaw 38. All three are from Ardmore.
Duston was a boiler foreman and Sons was a still operator. Officials said the fire apparently started
in the chemical area of the plant and became intense enough to cause the explosion.
Workers said Sons rushed Into the chemical area and was hurled through a wall by the explosion. Bradshaw was blown 35 feet, witnesses witnesses said.
Homes over a three-mile area were shaken by the blast, which occurred at 6:10 a. m. Company and Ardmore firemen battled two hours before bringing the fire under control.
The refinery, located a mile northeast of Ardmore, is owned the Bell Oil and .Gas Co., Tulsa. It has a capacity of 7,500 barrels of crude oil a day and a gasoline cracking plant capacity of 4,500 barrels.
Two weeks ago the company announced it planned to spend two million dollars to improve and enlarge the refinery.
No estimate of damage or cause of the fire could be made immediately. immediately.
[The Ada Weekly News (Ada, Oklahoma) · Thu, Feb 21, 1952 · Page 1]
Is Fatally Burned
James Sons of Ardmore, Okla., cousin of four
Denton County residents, was fatally burned this morning by an explosion at
the Ben Franklin Refinery Company at Ardmore.
The blast and resultant fires were started in a control room,
according to Ross Mundy of Sanger, who was loading his gasoline truck at the
refinery. Also killed, he said, was Fant Dustin of Ardmore. Another
Arrdonorite, Joe Bradshaw, was critically burned.
Sons was the cousin of Jesse, Boyd, Lloyd and Floyd Sons, who live
west of Sanger.
Cause of the blast had not been determined by the time he left
Sanger, Mundy, who works for Gl Oil Company there, said.
Record-Chronicle (Denton, Texas) · Thu, Feb 21, 1952 · Page 2]
James R. Sons registered for the draft ca. 1941.
He enlisted in the Army at Oklahoma City, OK on 25
Pvt Sons was transferred from Hq 82nd Airborne Division to
Service Company, 508th PIR on 3 October 1944.
.On 8 December 1944, he was transferred from Service
Company to Company D.
Pvt Sons was promoted to Pfc
on 20 March 1945.
On 13 October 1945, Pfc Sons was
transferred to the 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment.
His military decorations include the Combat Infantryman Badge
which was awarded for action during the campaign, 18 December 1944 to 20 Feb
1945 and the Good Conduct Medal.