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"Still explodes, burning 3 Limestone men


Came in email .... puts the Three Stooges to shame.



Decatur Daily news from Limestone County (Alabama)

Posted Tuesday, Sep 30, 2008
"Still explodes, burning 3 Limestone men

By Holly Hollman
Staff Writer
Source Decatur Daily

"ATHENS — It was a bad mash-making day for three Limestone County men as one lost part of his finger and an explosion then burned all three. Sheriff Mike Blakely said the men went to Athens-Limestone Hospital between 9 and 10 p.m. Saturday. The hospital staff thought the injuries were odd and called the Sheriff’s Department at 12:45 a.m. Sunday. Investigator Randy Burroughs said Doug Powers, who is in his late 50s, had third-degree burns on his back and part of a finger missing. Athens-Limestone transported him to the University of Alabama at Birmingham Hospital’s burn center. Athens-Limestone treated and released Powers’ son, Joey, who is in his 20s and had minor burns to his face, Burroughs said. The third man, John Dunn, age unknown, was splattered with hot mash but had no serious injuries, Burroughs said. A 12-year-old relative who also was present was not injured, Burroughs said.
The investigator said the three were making the mash in Doug Powers’ garage at his home at 16896 Zehner Road, Athens. Burroughs said they were using barley and muscadine wine that Powers had made to produce mash in a still constructed from a 25-gallon barrel, burner, pressure cooker top and copper tubing.

Burroughs said Doug Powers lost part of his finger while using a potato grinder to crush muscadines.

“It was held on by a flap of skin, so he took his knife and cut it off,” Burroughs said.

Undaunted by that injury, the men cranked up the burner to make 20 to 25 gallons of mash. After the mixture was heated, they realized they had not removed the plug from underneath the pressure cooker lid.

“They couldn’t get the lid off, and instead of waiting for it to cool, they took a hammer and tried to beat the lid off,” Burroughs said. “That’s when it exploded. The mash spewed out of the barrel.”

Charges pending

Charges are pending against Doug Powers, who is still in the UAB burn center.

Burroughs said authorities found about 250 gallons of wine and mash in Powers’ cellar, some of which was in 55-gallon barrels. Authorities disposed of the alcohol.

Authorities also found the piece of finger Doug Powers’ cut off. Burroughs said a dog was eating it. "


Entry #864


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