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Philadelphia, PA Building Explosion, Jun 1867

Terrible Boiler Explosion

A Five Story Brick Building Blown Up - Frightful Loss of Life.

PHILADELPHIA, June 7, 1867.
The most shocking and distressing occurrence of the kind it has ever been our painful duty to chronicle, occurred on Thursday afternoon. It involved the bursting of a stationary steam boiler, the utter and entire demolition of a five story building, the wounding of a dozen operatives, and the killing of as many more.

The building was situated upon a lot in the rear of Sansom street, between Tenth and Eleventh, Philadelphia, at the junction of two courts or alleys known respectively as Medical and Juvenal streets. The exact location was in rear of No. 1024 Sansom street. The structure was five stories high, of large dimensions, well and solidly built of brick. It is known among the cabinet making profession as Goehman's steam saw-mill. This establishment gave employment to never less than forty men, and produced scroll work and veneers for cabinet making purposes.

Mr. Goeham, deceased some time since, and his widow leased the building, with its boilers and fixed machinery, to the firm of Geazey & Ward, who continued the business. The boilers were made by Messrs. Morgan & Orr five years ago. The engineer regularly employed by the establishment was taken ill three days ago, and a substitute was engaged from among the experts of W. W. King, machinist, No. 1015 Sansom street.

It was necessary to repair the steam chest, and to that end the machinery was stopped at three o'clock yesterday afternoon. The men engaged at the lathes and tools driven by machinery then quitted work and went to their homes. At about half past five o'clock the neighborhood was shaken up be two explosions, about ten seconds apart. With a deafening crash the building to which this boiler was attached rocked as if an earthquake ad convulsed the ground upon which it stood, collapsed and tumbled with a crash, one conglomerated mass of ruins, a wreck, utter and complete.

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article | by Dr. Radut