Metuchen, NJ Train Boiler Explosion, Mar 1907


Three Tainmen [sic] Killed by Bursting of Pennsylvania Engine Boiler

Metuchen, N. J., Mar. 11-- Three men were killed and a number of other hurt, and Metuchen was shaken and threatened with many fires to-day, when the boiler of a locomotive on the Pennsylvania Railroad exploded while drawing a freight train through the town.

The dead

WILLIAM J. SISHER, engineer, of Philadelphia
C. S. SMITH, brakeman, Trenton
W. H. FRITSCHE, fireman, Trenton

The train left Jersey City at 1 a.m., and was passing through Metuchen under good headway, when, just opposite the railroad station, the boiler of the locomotive exploded. Portions of the boiler were blown two blocks away and tore their way into buildings. The bodies of Engineer Sisher and Brakeman Smith were found a hundred yards from the railroad tracks. Many of the freight cards were piled in a heap and several of the train hands were injured, but none seriously. The broken cars caught fire, but the blaze was soon extinguished.

A part of the locomotive was blown into Hahn's drug store, two blocks from the track, and another piece of steel entered McCutcheon's pharmacy. Both stores were set fire simultaneously, but in neither case was there any serious loss.

Miss Daisy Martin, telephone operator in the railroad station, was thrown from her chair by the explosion and slightly injured. The station caught fire, but was not destroyed.

The Washington Post, Washington, DC 12 Mar 1907