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New York City, NY Boiler Explosion, Nov 1893





New York, Nov. 3. -- The boiler in the drydock, East Broadway and Battery Railroad company's shops, burst yesterday afternoon. One end of the building was smashed, six were killed and more than a dozen persons more or less badly hurt.
The wrecked boiler was blown clear across the street 100 feet, and striking two tenements like an enormous battering ram, broke down the wall to the third story. Ten minutes before the explosion occurred scores of children were playing on the broad sidewalk in front of the now wrecked building, picking up grain spilled from the feed wagons which unload there, and dancing and carrying on.
The children were from the parochial school of the Church of the Immaculate Conception nearby. Their homes were in the surrounding tenements. At 1 o'clock the teachers' bell summoned them back to their tasks. The last of them had not passed through the school gate when a tremendous explosion shook the building to its foundation and sent teachers and children rushing to the street.
When the dust cleared away, a scene of wreck and desolation was disclosed. The east end of the drydock railroad company's three-story stable had collapsed. The four-story wing east of it stood, but a hole was knocked through the partition wall that divided it from the fallen boiler houses. The street was littered with broken bricks and lumber. The tenements across the way looked as if they had gone through a bombardment.
The fronts of two houses had disappeared. Where they had been was a ragged hole. A dying horse kicked in its death struggles in the middle of the street. In the gutter lay one man apparently dead, and in the doorway of the saloon where he had been struck down, another with a broken head.
Here and there, everywhere, wounded and bleeding men and children were crawling away from the unknown peril, grasping with feeble hands in the pavement and the dirt. Ambulances came -- half a dozen -- in answer to a summons, and the wounded and the dead were picked up and carried away. A man, who ran around wringing his hands and shouting in anguished tones that his brother was killed, was led away by the police.
When a survey of the field had been made the police list showed the casualties.
The Dead:
JOSEPH H. QUINN, 22, carpenter.
JOHN ROYAL, 29, lamp man.
PATRICK SHEEHAN, 27, married, a driver, fractured skull.
JAMES HARLAND, 29, married, stableman, fractured thigh.
MICHAEL BRENNAN, 23, single, laborer, arm fractured.
GEORGE L. MARTINE, 32, married, cardriver, skull fractured.
THOMAS POWELL, 49, mechanic.
WILLIAM EGAN, 25, married, laborer, severe contusions.
MICHAEL McDONALD, 16, both legs fractured.
PAT McDONALD, 28, both thigh bones fractured and bruised about the body.
MRS. JANE SOLDINGER, cut by flying glass.
ANNIE GALLAGHER, badly bruised by flying debris.
JOHN POTTERS, cut by flying glass.
JOHN RUHL, struck by falling timbers.
MYRTLE GALLAGHER, cut by flying glass.
JOHN RHEINFRANK, cut by glass.
A number of others, including several children, were struck by flying wreckage and slightly injured. How many horses were englufed in the wreck when the building fell is unknown. Seven were shot two hours after the collapse. They were all more or less injured. How many are in the ruins is yet to be ascertained.
The cause of the explosion was over-pressure. The loss of property is about $30,000.

The Fitchburg Sentinel Massachusetts 1893-11-03

article | by Dr. Radut