San Antonio, TX Engine Blows Up In Shop, Mar 1912

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Buildings Crumble and Monetary Loss Will Be $200,000

Western Newspaper Union News Service.
San Antonio, Texas -- At least thirty-two men were killed and parts of their bodies strewn for blocks around when a big passenger engine in the Southern Pacific shops blew up here.
The engine stood in a square formed by the copper house, blacksmith shop and round house, all of which have been wrecked. A part of the locomotive crashed into a house several blocks away and seriously hurt a woman.
Twenty of the bodies have been identified, but what is believed to be twenty more is little more than a tangled mass of fragments of human flesh and bones that probably never will be separated.
These fragments were found jammed into crevices about the building wrecked, in the street and entangled in machinery of the shops.
The shops have been manned for several weeks by strikebreakers imported when shopmen of the Harriman lines went out. It is believed most of the killed are from the North and East.
It is believed the explosion was caused by carelessness of someone of the men killed, in allowing cold water to run into the hot boiler of the locomotive. The engine was No. 704 and was practically new. It was in the shops for inspection. It was of the large mogul type.
Besides the thirty-two believed to have been killed, fifty persons were injured. These for the most part were in remote sections of the buildings wrecked, for those close to the engine or in the main parts of the building either were killed by the blast or crushed by falling material when the buildings crumbled. The monetary loss will be about $200,000.
Freaks of the terrific impact were many, but one of the most strange is that the driving wheels of the engine were not disturbed, while parts of the huge locomotive were driven blocks. The large wheels apparently did not budge.

Plateau Voice Collbran Colorado 1912-03-22

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