Rodamers, WV Locomotive Boiler Explosion, Oct 1927
ENGINE BOILER BLAST KILLS 2 B. & O. CREW.
THIRD IS SERIOUSLY INJURED IN ACCIDENT YESTERDAY NEAR RODAMERS, W. VA. CATTLE KILLED.
2 PROBES UNDERWAY.
BODIES OF ENGINEER AND FIREMAN THROWN GREAT DISTANCE BY TERRIFIC EXPLOSION -- CARS DERAILED.
Explosion of the boiler of a locomotive of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad near Rodamers, W. Va., yesterday resulted in the death of G. W. HERSHMAN, 50 years old, his fireman C. J. BURKE, 29, both of Rolesburg, and the serious injury of C. E. CORNELL, 33, brakeman, of Cumberland.
BURKE, who was not married and who was supporting his mother, is a brother of Leo J. Burke, machinist foreman at the Back Shop of the railroad company here.
Railroad officials, after an examination by H. R. Laughlin, superintendent of the Cumberland Division and other experts of the railroad company, said that the explosion was caused by low water in the boiler, due to which the crown sheets became overheated and dropped.
The explosion occurred with terrific force, blowing the body of Engineer HERSHMAN a distance of one hundred and fifty feet. The body of Fireman BURKE was hurled three hundred feet down the hillside. The heavy boiler was thrown on top of the caboose, in front of the engine, and dropped on a live stock car in which a number of cattle were killed.
The locomotive, No. 7026, one of the large Mallets, was pushing fast freight No. 94, St. Louis to New York, up the grade near Rodamers when the boiler exploded.
Authorities of Preston County, W. Va., and officials of the railroad company are investigating the accident.
Part of the train was derailed by the explosion, but crews from Keyser were sent to the scene and opened traffic after a tie-up of several hours. The scene of the accident is about seventeen miles west of Oakland, on the Keyser and Grafton division. It is estimated to be sixty-eight miles from Cumberland.
The locomotive, known as a helper, was attached at the rear end of the fast freight at the Morgantown and Kingwood Junction.
Cumberland Evening Times Maryland 1927-10-03