Craigville, NY Boiler Explosion, Jun 1867

Craigville, NY Boiler Explosion, Jun 1867

Boiler Explosion at Craigville – Several Persons Injured.

From the Newburgh (N.Y.) Journal, June 8.

A terrible boiler explosion occurred at Craigville, on the Newburgh branch of the Erie Railroad, about seventeen miles from this city, yesterday morning at about 11 o’clock, severely, if not fatally injuring three men, the particulars of which we learn are as follows:

“The Washington Iron Works, of this city, were putting up a portable engine and boiler for Messrs. Merritt & Woodhull, of Craigville, for driving the machinery of a corn-mill and wagon-shop. The work was made under the supervision of Mr. Hugh MCBURNEY, an experienced machinist, who has been long in their employ, and who has put up at least 200 portables of the same description. The boiler was tested before leaving the works with 100 pounds of steam, and was found to be perfect. The same boilers have frequently been run with one hundred and twenty-five pounds of pressure with perfect safety. It had been put up, and run the day previous, with seventy-five pounds of steam, and although the boiler ‘foamed,’ which is frequently the case when they are new, it was thought to be all right. Mr. MCBURNEY had completed the job, and intended returning to Newburgh on the morning train, and was superintending the machinery until its arrival. At about 11 o’clock, MCBURNEY looked at the water-gauges, and found, that instead of diminishing, the water in the boiler was represented by the water-gauges to be slowly increasing. The steam-gauge indicated at this time one hundred pounds. Mr. MCBURNEY saw at once that the boiler was ‘foaming’ considerably, and threw open the doors of the furnace, the explosion occurring almost simultaneously. Dr. George M. SEARS, who was passing the place just before the explosion, and had stopped in to see the new engine run, was struck in the abdomen by one of the flying fragments, and is reported to be in a critical condition. He is a single man, aged about thirty-two, and his father is a minister at New-Brunswick, N. J. Mr. MCBURNEY was seriously scalded about the body by the escaping water and steam, and was at first thought to be fatally injured. Mr. MERRITT, one of the firm for which the machinery was being put up, was considerably scalded about the head, though no imminent danger in his case is apprehended. Experienced machinists, who have examined the wreck since the explosion, represent that not less than five hundred pounds of pressure could have been employed to produce the powerful explosion indicated by the debris. Another cause of the explosion is thought to have been that the hands of the steam gauge got caught in some way, and the actual amount of steam in the boiler was increased beyond its utmost capacity, with no fluctuation of the indicator.”

The New York Times, New York, NY 9 Jun 1867