Brooklyn, NY Boiler Explosion, Oct 1910





Six men were killed, five of them instantly, and two others were so seriously injured that they are expected to die, as the result of an explosion in the boiler room of the American Manufacturing Company, at Oak and West Streets, in the Greenpoint district of Brooklyn, early yesterday morning. So great was the force of the explosion that a boiler weighing 40,000 pounds was lifted three stories through the roof of a boiler room and then hurled several hundred yards into a vacant space on the river front. The dead and injured are:
EDWARD CORCORAN, chief engineer of the plant, of 130 Noble Street, Brooklyn.
ANDREW DOHERTY, fireman, of 183 Greene Street, Brooklyn.
JOHN JUSTICK, fireman, of 180 Greene Street, Brooklyn.
MICHAEL KELLY, fireman, of 313 Eckford Street, Brooklyn.
EDWARD MILLER, laborer, of 113 Oak Street, Brooklyn.
ANDREW PERMENTE, assistant engineer, of 1266 Greene Street, Brooklyn.
JOHN JUBS, fireman, of 26 Clay Street, in Williamsburg Hospital; not expected to live.
JOHN KELLY, laborer, of 11 Van Dam Street, Brooklyn; in Williamsburg Hospital with a fractured skull; not expected to live.
The cause of the explosion will probably never be known, for the only two men who saw it, CORCORAN and PERMENTE, are dead. The survivors were so terribly injured that it was impossible to get any information from them. WILLIAM HIGGINSON, consulting engineer of the American Manufacturing Company, was one of the first to reach the place where the explosion occurred. He made a careful inspection of the wreck and said afterward that he could not account for the explosion. CORCORAN, he said, was one of the best engineers the company had in its employ.
CORCORAN, it was learned from men who were at work in other parts of the boiler building, had made an early inspection of the boiler rooms and had found everything apparently in good working order. He had just entered the boiler room for the second time when the boiler exploded with a report that was heard all over Greenpoint. His body was torn to pieces and when found was in a patch of clear ground 50 yards from where the boiler had stood. One of the bodies, that of JUSTICK, was hurled through the side of a frame building that stands opposite the factory in Oak Street. It was found on the far side of the building an hour after the explosion.'Policeman McCAMBRIDGE of the Greenpoint station was in West Street, a block away from the boiler house, at the time of the explosion. It was about 7:30 o'clock according to McCAMBRIDGE when the boiler exploded. McCAMBRIDGE was standing at the time at Oak and West Streets. He turned just in time to see the tangled wreckage of the 40,000 pound boiler as it was hurled through the air and saw it when crashed to earth 50 yards away from the boiler room. The impact of the wreckage of the boiler was so great that it tore a hole more than 7 feet deep in the ground where it landed.
The Greenpoint Police Station is only a few blocks away from the factory, and five minutes after the explosion Capt. COLEMAN at the head of the police reserves reached the factory.
In the factory adjoining the boiler room several hundred women are employed. These women ran out of the building in a panic. Only a thin wall divided the part of the factory in which they worked from the boiler building. The employes in other parts of the factory, which covers two city blocks, ran out into the street, none of them knowing what had happened.
The part of the building in which the boiler exploded is three stories high. The wall that fronted in Oak Street was of corrugated iron. The building was completely destroyed and windows in other parts of the factory broken. The frame building opposite the boiler house was also partly wrecked.
The nearest man to the boiler room at the time of the explosion was JAMES McGRATH, a water tender. McGRATH rushed into the wreckage to see if he could do anything, but was driven back by the rush of steam. The American Manufacturing Company is said to be the largest concern manufacturing jute bagging for bailing cotton in this country. It aslo manufactures other jute products.

The New York Times New York 1910-10-21