JEFFERSON CITY, MO., Jan. 13—Gov. Donnelly took charge at the State Penitentiary tonight following an explosion in the power plant that killed one convict, critically injured another and threw the prison into darkness for two hours.
The Governor, when he was informed of the accident and the absence of Director of Corrections Thomas E. Whitecotton and Warden Ben B. Stewart, who were out of town on official business, hurried to the Penitentiary to inspect the damage and to see that proper steps were being made to get the power plant operating again.
HAS ONLY ONE GUARD
Accompanied by only one guard captain and the prison physician, Dr. William V. McKnelly, the Governor went through the entire prison yard and down a steep slope to the power plant with the way lighted only by a flashlight from the Governor's automobile.
He stayed at the plant, in a corner of the Penitentiary property near the Missouri River, until the lights were operating again. He inspected the damage, climbing through piles of coal and puddles of water to direct his flashlight on the main steam line that exploded.
Gov. Donnelly praised the staff of the Penitentiary for the handling of the situation. The explosion occurred just as the last line of men were leaving the dining hall about 4:30 p.m. The prisoners were hurried to their cells and emergency calls sent out for all guards.
Prison officials reported there were no disturbances during the two hours the lights were out ...