Chicago, IL Tug Boat Explosion, Oct 1891

Seven Killed Outright

And Several Wounded By The Explosion Of A Tug’s Boiler.

Chicago, Oct. 4.-A boiler explosion aboard the steam tug C.W. Parker killed seven persons and seriously injured others in the neighborhood of Archer Avenue Bridge, on the south branch of the river, about 4:30 o’clock this afternoon. The C.W. Parker, in company with three other tugs, was engaged in attempting to tow the coal steamer H.S. Pickens out of the draw of the bridge when the explosion occurred.

Three of the killed were employees of the tug, and their bodies have not yet been recovered. The other persons killed were standing on the banks of the river, to which number of spectators had been drawn to witness the removal of the steamer Pickands, which arrived Saturday from Buffalo with a cargo of coal. The vessel had run aground in the draw, and four tugs were putting forth every effort to move it, when the C.W. Parker exploded. The list of the killed and wounded so far as can be ascertained, is as follows:


JAMES B. CARTER, Captain of the tug C.W. Parker.
JOHN C. MOORE, engineer of the C.W. Parker.
SAMUEL ARMSTRONG of Manistee, cook of the C.W. Parker.
UNKNOWN MAN, killed by fragment of boiler while standing at east end of Archer Avenue Bridge.
MRS. MARY RICE, of 3,013 Archer Avenue.
BARBARA RICE, her eighteen-year-old daughter.
SAMUEL SAWYERS, laborer, 3,425 Blume Street.


Joseph Cullen, fireman of the C.W. Parker; will probably die before morning.
Henry Bell, deck hand, badly scalded and leg paralyzed.
Charles Kirtin, citizen, wounded by missiles.
Frank Wagner, arm broken.
Joseph Bomorazk, skull fractured; may die.
George Juell, Captain of the tug Van Schaack, back sprained.
James Cunningham, cook of the Van Schaack, scalp wounds.

The New York Times, New York, NY 5 Oct 1891