Craigville, NY Train Explosion, Apr 1888


Three Men Killed and the Machine Shattered
Into Fragments--Two Farmers Badly
Mutilated--Cars Piled Together

Newburgh, N.Y., April 7--At five o'clock last evening a big mogul freight engine exploded on the Erie railroad at Craigville. Three men were killed--two instantly, and one died this morning. The train was standing still at the foot of a heavy grade. Engineer John Bodine, Conductor John Clarke and Fireman Boyce were standing on the ground beside the engine repairing the sand pipes which had become clogged.

The explosion hurled the boiler several hundred feet over the stream and into an adjoining field. The fire box was thrown far into the air and down into the stream. A heavy iron rod was thrown a quarter of a mile and the other parts of the machine scattered in all directions. The report of the explosion was heard for miles around, and windows of houses were broken. Only the heavy driving wheels were left on the track. The engineer and fireman were thrown on either side of the track, and when assistance came they were dead. Conductor Clarke was still alive. His skull was crushed and he had internal injuries. He was taken to a house near by, where he died.

Two farmers in a wagon crossing the tracks in Middletown were run over by the Erie train and killed. They were so badly mutilated that their remains had to be shoveled into a barrel.

Last night a collision occurred between two freight trains on the Erie railroad at Otter Kill. A rear train ran into the train ahead. Almost every car in the two trains were wrecked and piled up forty or fifty feet high…

The Atlanta Constitution, Atlanta, GA 8 Apr 1888