Wolf Island, IL Steamer OHIO Boiler Explosion, May 1893

RIVER CATASTROPHE

Boiler Explosion on the Steamer Ohio.

MEN LITERALLY COOKED ALIVE.

Six People Already Dead and Sixteen Others Will Die, While Six Others Were Badly Scalded -- The Steamer Badly Injured -- The Passengers All Escape Serious Injury.

Cairo, Ills., May 8 -- One of the worst catastrophies which has occurred in this region for years took place on the Mississippi at Wolf Island, 24 miles below this city at 7:45 Sunday morning. A rear end of one of the boilers of the steamer Ohio, a Cincinnati and Memphis packet, blew out, filling the deck cabin with steam and boiling water. Several of the deckhands and deck passengers who were eating breakfast at the time were literally cooked alive and a large number received serious burns.

Following is a list of the dead:
WILLIAM HURSTMAN, colored, fireman, St. Louis.
HAMPTON COLLINS, colored, Memphis.
THOMAS WOODS, colored, residence unknown.
CYRUS MEYERS, white, second mate, of Cincinnati, jumped into the river and was drowned.
Two colored men Unidentified.

The following is a list of the injured, many of whom will die:
R. W. CREWS, Danville, Va.
FRED NEAL, Columbus, Miss.
CHARLES JACKSON, fireman, Cincinnati.
JAMES HOWARD, Roebloom, Mo.
GILBERT CHILDRESS, fireman, Nashville.
COLDER TATE, Memphis.
WILLIAM JACKSON, Washington, Pa.
WILLIAM HENRY, Memphis.
ALBERT ROBINSON, Cincinnati.
GEORGE WASHINGTON, Memphis.
JOHN RALPH, Cincinnati.
C. J. PATTERSON, white, cook, Memphis.
WILLIAM H. DICKEY, white, deck passenger, Newport, Ky.

The wildest consternation reigned on board the boat, and the screams of the passengers and the groans and appeals of the victims made the scene a terrible one. The boat could go no further, and for several hours it lay at the bank while the unfortunate victims lay on the deck writhing in agony and calling aloud for aid.

At last the tug Aegues hove in sight. She was hailed and the sufferers, 23 in number, were transferred to her deck and she immediately steamed to this city. Word had been telegraphed ahead and every physician in town was on the wharf to meet her. The suffering of the victims was alleviated as much as possible, but before they could be removed from the boat for treatment four were dead. The remainder were transferred to the United States marine hospital. Another one died soon after reaching there, and the surgeon declares that 10 of the 16 now in the hospital will die.

CYRUS MEYERS, the second mate, was terribly scalded. He was in such pain, and to relieve himself he jumped into the river. He went to the bottom at once and was seen no more.

H. DICKEY of Newport, Ky., was seriously injured andmay loose the sight of both eyes.
AARON BURR JOHNSON, a white boy of Memphis, was scalded from head to foot and is not likely to survive.

C. J. PATTERSON of Orange, N. J. will recover.
None of the cabin passengers were injured.
The boat was badly disabled by the accident. She was towed up the river and reached here last night. Her passengers were forwarded to their destinations by rail.

The Lima Daily Times Ohio 1893-05-08

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ELEVEN OF THE VICTIMS DEAD.

TERRIBLE RESULTS OF A BOILER EXPLOSION ON A MISSISSIPPI STEAMER.

Cairo, Ill., May 7. -- On the Mississippi River, at Wolf Island, twenty-four miles below this city, at 7:45 this morning, the rear of one of the boilers of the steamer OHIO, a Cincinnati and Memphis packet, blew out, filling the deck cabin with steam and boiling water.

Several of the deck hands and deck passengers who were eating breakfast at the time were literally cooked alive, and a large number are seriously burned. Following is a list of the dead:
HURSTMAN, WILLIAM, colored, fireman, St. Louis.
COLLINS, HAMPTON, colored, Memphis.
WOODS, THOMAS, colored, residence unknown.
MEYERS, CYRUS, white, second mage, of Cincinnati; jumped into the river and was drowned.
Two colored men unidentified.
Following is a list of the injured, many of whom will die:
F. W. CREWS, Danville, Va.; FRED NEAL, Columbus, Miss.; CHARLES JACKSON, fireman, Cincinnati; JAMES HOWARD, Roebloom, Mo.; GILBERT CHILDRESS, fireman, Nashville; COLDER TATE, Memphis; WILLIAM JACKSON, Washington, Penn.; WILLIAM HENRY, Memphis; ALBERT ROBINSON, Cincinnati; GEORGE WASHINGTON, Memphis; JOHN RALPH, Cincinnati; O. J. PATTERSON, (white,) cook, Memphis; WILLIAM H. DICKEY, (white,) deck passenger, Newport, Ky.

The wildest consternation reigned on board the boat, and the screams of the passengers and the groans and appeals of the victims made the scene a terrible one. The boat could proceed no further, and for several hours it lay at the bank, while the unfortunate victims lay on the deck writhing in agony and calling aloud for aid.
At last the tug Argis hove in sight. She was hailed and the sufferers, twenty-two in number, were transferred to her deck and she immediately steamed to this city. Word had been telegraphed and every physician in town was on the wharf to meet her. The suffering of the victims was alleviated as much as possible, but before they could be removed from the boat four of them were dead. The remainder were transferred to the United States Marine Hospital. Another one died soon after reaching there, and the surgeon declares that ten of the sixteen now in the hospital will die.

CYRUS MEYERS, the second mate, was terribly scalded. He was insane with pain, and to relieve himself he jumped into the river. He went to the bottom at once and was seen no more. W. H. DICKEY of Newport, Ky., was seriously injured and may lose the sight of both eyes. AARON JOHNSON, a white boy of Memphis, was scalded from head to foot and is not likely to survive.

C. J. PATTERSON of Orange, N. J., will recover.

None of the cabin passengers were injured. The boat was badly disabled by the accident. She was towed up the river and reached here to-night. Her passengers will be forwarded to their destination by rail.

The New York Times New York 1893-05-08