Shamokin, PA Dreadful Explosions, Oct 1894

MANY BOILERS BURST.

A FRIGHTFUL AND FATAL SERIES OF EXPLOSIONS AT SHAMOKIN.

FOUR KILLED INSTANTLY.

TWO OTHER MEN WILL PROBABLY DIE - WHILE SEVERAL ARE PAINFULLY INJURED - THE ACCIDENT CAME UPON THE EMPLOYEES WITHOUT WARNING.

Shamokin, Pa., Oct. 11. - Four men were killed, two were fatally injured and several others were painfully burned by a disastrous boiler explosion that occurred at the Henry Clay colliery early today. The entire steam supplying plant of this mine, consisting of 36 boilers, was totally demolished, and in addition to the monetary loss, which will aggregate $80,000, the Henry Clay, Big Mountain, Sterling and Peerless collieries will be unable to resume operations for at least a month.
The explosion is the worst of its kind that has ever occurred in this region, and the cause is a mystery.
The dead and injured are:
THOMAS CARR, fireman, leaves widow and three children; one arm and one leg blown off and body cut in two.
WILLIAM BOYLE, fireman, leaves widow; horribly crushed and lacerated about the body; dead when recovered.
WILLIAM E. SLICK, aged 18 years, neck broken and both hips fractured; died few minutes after being found.
PETER HECK, fireman, side of head crushed and severe internal injuries; can not recover.
JACOB J. DIDLAN, water boss of Mahanoy Valley, married; scalded and crushed about the abdomen and legs; can not recover.
JOHN McLAUGHLIN, fireman, both legs broken and head crushed; died two hours after the accident.
JOHN FLENKENSTEIN, married, received very serious injuries about body; may recover.
DENNIS BRENNAN, scraper boy, struck in the face with brick; not dangerous.
WILLIAM QUIMM, lamp-man of Springfield, cut on head by flying bricks.
MICHAEL HARRIS, switch boy, Springfield, injured by flying bricks.

A Terrific Explosion.
It was about 7:25 when the workman at the Henry Clay colliery were startled by a heavy explosion. At the same moment a portion of the boiler house roof was blown into the air, and flying bricks, sheets of corrugated iron and the big boilers were hurled in every direction. Several other explosions took place. The air was filled with escaping steam and debris for a radius of 400 yards, and many of the employees narrowly escaped death. The report of the explosion was heard in this city, a distance of more than two miles. The terrible accident came upon the boiler house employees without warning, and only one of them, a Pole, escaped uninjured. The boilers were buried between the mass of debris, and some of the bodies were not recovered for two hours. The boiler on the western end of the house is supposed to have been the first to explode, and then the adjoining boilers went up in quick succession, the repeated explosions resembling the roar of heavy artillery. Only nine of the 36 boilers escaped destruction, and even these were so badly damaged that they are useless. Many of the boilers were torn apart near the center by the terrible force, and the two sections would then take different directions. One-half of a boiler was hurled a full quarter of a mile and lodged in the slush bank northwest of where the boiler house formerly stood. Another took a similar direction, crashed through the side of the breaker and lodged against the scraper line. Another crashed through the tip-house and came near killing several employees. WILLIAM CLEMENTS, the engineer, had a close call at the latter place, as the big boiler came through the engine house roof and fell on the floor just a foot in front of him. The safety lamp house that stood near the top of the shaft was reduced to splinters, and that WILLIAM QUIMM, the lamp man, escaped with his life is miraculous.
Four collieries will be thrown into idleness by the accident for a month or six weeks, so that the total loss will aggregate $100,000.

The Ogdensburg Journal New York 1894-10-12