Norwich, CT Steamer CITY OF NEW LONDON Burned, Nov 1871
BURNING OF A STEAMER.
THE CITY OF NEW LONDON ENTIRELY DESTROYED BY FIRE.
TWELVE PERSONS EITHER BURNED TO DEATH OR DROWNED -- FORTUNATE ESCAPE OF THE REMAINING PASSENGERS AND CREW.
Norwich, Conn., Nov. 22. -- The steamer City of New London, Capt. BROWN, of the Norwich and New York Line, took fire about 4 1/2 o'clock, on the river Thames, five miles below the city. The flames were first discovered issuing from one of the ventilators. The Captain was on deck and ordered the boat anchored. Efforts were immediately made to extinguish the flames, and after a short time were apparently successful. A rigid examination discovered no traces of fire. The anchor was hoisted and the boat proceeded up the river. When about three miles below the city, abreast of the mouth of Poquetannock Cove, fire was discovered in some cotton which was on deck. The donkey-pumps were started, and the Captain and engineer, aided by the crew, in less than one minute, had three streams on the fire. Despite all the exertions the fire spread with great rapidity, and soon enveloped all the forward part of the boat. The Captain, seeing all efforts to extinguish the were useless, ordered the boat beached, but the engineer could not start the engine. The donkey pumps were, however, still kept at work until the engineer notified the Captain that he heared an explosion of the boilers, in which event all would be lost. The spread of the flames had in the meantime cut off all communication with the boats, and rendered life preservers inaccessible. The passengers and crew then threw themselves into the water, clinging to such portions of the cargo and boat as had fallen overboard. Those who were able to swim had not much difficulty in raching the shore.
Some were picked up by boats from floating pieces of the cargo in an exhausted condition and taken to farm houses in the vicinity, where they were cared for and resusciated. Some half a dozen of the crew and passengers are still missing, and, it is feared, lost, among whom is C.B. ROGERS, a well known manufacturer of this city. When your reporter visited the wreck he found it lying about fifty to seventy-five feet from the river bank, with bow down stream, still burning fiercely, with no hope of saving anything of consequence. Everything above her deck is already consumed. A train with a fire engine was taken down from the City, but too late to be of service. The wreck has since drifted down stream to leeward about a quarter of a mile below Haldens Island, where it has been abandoned by the crew, and lies fast aground just below Poquetannock Cove. Trams are running down hourly, and a vigilant search is making for the missing men. The City of New London was a first class boat, and had a large cargo. The office of the Norwich and New York Transportation Company, in this city, is crowded with persons anxious to learn the fate of their friends among the passengers and crew, and much excitement prevails.
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