St. Louis, MO Boiler Explosion, Oct 1866

A Boiler Explosion

Three Buildings Demolished – Twenty two Persons Buried in the Ruins.

St. Louis, Wednesday, Oct. 17.

A terrific boiler explosion occurred at 10 o’clock this morning, in the turning-shop of J. H. VONBROCK, on Franklin avenue, which totally demolished the shop, also a three-story brick building on the west, and a dwelling on the east side of the street. Twenty two persons are known to have been buried in the ruins. Eight, when taken out, were dead, and twelve were more or less wounded. Two, and perhaps more, still remain in the ruins.

The ruins of the buildings immediately took fire, and the firemen and a large force of men are now engaged in extinguishing the flames and removing the rubbish.

Second Dispatch.

St. Louis, Wednesday, Oct. 17.

Six more dead bodies were taken from the ruins of VONBROCK’S turning-shop this evening. It is thought that others still remain buried in the debris. Several of the bodies are so horribly burned that they cannot be recognized.

Third Dispatch.

St. Louis, Wednesday, Oct. 17.

The cause of the explosion today was the weakness of the boiler, of which the proprietor is said to have been notified by his engineer some days ago. The Coroner will investigate the whole matter to-morrow.

After the explosion the ruins took fire and burned furiously some time, in spite of the most desperate exertions of the firemen. Two two-story dwellings adjoining were also consumed.

All this time the scene was appalling. Appeals for aid of the helpless creatures in the ruins, and the frantic cries of their wives and children and relatives were heart-rendering in the extreme.

Men are still at work removing the rubbish; but no more bodies had been found up to 9 o’clock

The pecuniary loss is not yet known.

The New York Times, New York, NY 18 Oct 1866