Omaha, NE Locomotive Explosion, July 1933
"There was no warning, it was just a terrific flash," she said. "I saw steam all around and the berth started to fall."
"I heard the man in the next section calling and I groped my way to him. I couldn't see but he directed me to the door."
The body of UTTER was found on the platform near the point of the blast.
Witnesses said the engine was about 125 feet west of the concourse at the time.
"Just one big flash and a boom," was the way C. R. Craig of Hastings, Neb., a brakeman on another Burlington train, described the explosion. Craig, who was 50 yards away was hit on the jaw by a flying piece of metal.
For a brief time after the explosion panic ruled in the two stations as the crowds milled about, ignorant of what had happened. The explosion ripped out a 20 foot section of the passenger viaduct and broke windows for hundreds of yards all around the scene.
In the same car with MISS MINTER was MILLER MELLOTT, 21 year old graduate of West Virginia Wesleyan College, who was returning from Los Angeles. The trip was a graduation gift from his father, J. E. Mellott, Gleneaston, W. Va., railroad man.
"I was sitting at the window when the blast came," he said at St. Catherine's hospital. "The glass seemed to be coming right at me and I fell to the floor to escape it. There was steam and debris flying all around and I thought I would smother before I could get out."
Parts of the locomotive were blown a distance of two blocks. The areaway was almost cut in two. A four year old child, walking through the tunnel connecting the stations, was reported seriously hurt.
Despite the terrific force of the blast, the wheel trucks of the engine remained on the tracks and the train continued to roll until it ran into tangled portions of the steel concourse, which had fallen in its path.
The Ak-Sar-Ben, which was scheduled to leave Omaha at 8:30, pulled out about 9:40 with a new engine. Passengers escaped injury because the force of the blast was expended on both sides and less violently toward the rear. W. C. Graham of Lincoln, the conductor, said the train was coming to a stop, traveling about 5 miles an hour, as the explosion occurred.
The thirteen persons, listed by the Associated Press as most seriously injured in the explosion of the locomotive boiler on a Burlington train at Omaha Tuesday night, are:
MILLER MELLOTT, 21, Gleneaston, W. Va., college student, severe burns on head, face and hands. Condition reported fair.
JAMES GOODIN, Des Lodge, Mo., newsboy on a Wabash train, mouth cut and injuries to back. Possible internal injuries. Reported improved today.
JOHN THOMAS, Chicago, negro porter standing on platform, abrasion and bruises of right shoulder. Under observation, but released from hospital.
O. C. PARKS, Hutchison, Kas., injured while standing on platform, second degree burns on face and chest. Condition fairly good, but not out of danger.
R. B. PAUL, Omaha, 60, car repairer, burns on head, back and legs. Condition good.
STEPHEN PETERS, 58, Omaha, burns on both legs. Condition good.
HANS C. P. HANSEN, Omaha, shoulder bruised and possibly broken by flying metal.
JACKIE VERNON, 5, Omaha, severe scalp laceration and bruises. Condition good.
JOHN GREEN, Omaha, negro porter, second degree burns over large portion of body. Condition serious.
STEPHEN HYNEK, Omaha, several body bruises.
EARL FLEET, Omaha, bruises on face and body.
JIMMIE VERNON, 7, Omaha, cuts and bruises. Released from hospital.
MISS CLETA MINTER, Omaha, burns on both legs.
In addition there were several persons who received minor bruises and given emergency treatment.
The Lincoln Star Nebraska 1933-07-19