Detroit, MI Propeller NILE Explodes, May 1864



From the Det. Advertiser and Tribune.
Our city was visited Saturday morning by an appalling calamity. The propeller Nile, of Evans & Co.'s line of propellers, from Buffalo to Chicago via Milwaukee, exploded her boiler about half past 7 o'clock, just as the passengers were about to sit down to breakfast. The explosion occurred at Buckley & Co.'s dock where the boat had been lying about an hour. The stern of the boat is a complete wreck and nearly all under water. The bow is all shattered, but the passenger deck and pilot house with the extreme stem are above water. Persons who were standing on the dock at the time of the explosion and escaped, described the report that accompanied it as equal to the firing of a 12-pounder gun, but very sharp and condensed. The propeller seemed to rise out of the water, and suddenly expanded into millions of fragments, which literally flew laterally, aloft and in every direction. Lacerated bodies were mingled with the debris, as that of poor BACON, who was blown full 250 feet and entirely over O'Grady's warehouse, and over a corner of Bissell & Co.'s, landing in Atwater Street upon the stone pavement.
Those who were further off describe the sound as much heavier that it appeared to those near by. Buildings all along Jefferson Avenue were shaken, and one looking at the explosion a half square distant, saw a dense black cylindrical column of dust, smoke, steam, broken timbers, and rifted iron, that presently come down in a deadly rain, endangering life for squares around. When the fragments had alighted the scene of distraction was most complete.
MR. A. W. BACON, of the firm of Campbell & Bacon, of Traverse City, who it is presumed was standing on the hurricane deck, was blown completely over O'Grady's warehouse, which is four stories in height. He fell into Water Street, h is head striking the stone paving near the middle of the , the spot being indicated by marks of blood. His neck was probably broken by the fall, and his head is horribly disfigured. MR. BACON was one of the noble men of enterprise who have been conspicuous in developing the resources of the interesting region of which he was an honored resident.

Marshall Statesman Michigan 1864-05-25