List of boiler explosions

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This article contains a list of steam boiler explosions including (but not limited to) railway locomotive, marine transport (military and civilian), and stationary power.

Events[edit]

Event Date Type Nation City/Locale Killed Injured Missing
Savery Explosion[1] 1716 Industrial  United Kingdom 1
Brunton's Mechanical Traveller 1815 Locomotive  United Kingdom Philadelphia, Tyne and Wear 16
The Washington[2] 1816 Marine (Civilian)  United States Marietta, Ohio 12 5
The Aetna[2] May 15, 1824 Marine (Civilian)  United States New York City, New York 10 40
Locomotion No 1 1828 Locomotive  United Kingdom 1
Best Friend of Charleston June 17, 1831 Locomotive  United States Charleston, South Carolina 1 3
PS Union[3][4][5] 1837 Marine (Civilian)  United Kingdom Hull 20 20
SS Moselle[6] April 28, 1838 Marine (Civilian)  United States Cincinnati, Ohio 81 13 55
SS Henry Eckford April 27, 1841 Marine (Civilian)  United States New York City, New York 1 2
Firth Woolen Mill[7] 1850 Industrial  United Kingdom Halifax, West Yorkshire 12[8] 17
The Hague Street Explosion[9] February 4, 1850 Industrial  United States New York City, New York 67 50
SS Canemah August 8, 1853 Marine (Civilian)  United States Champoeg, Oregon 1
SS Shoalwater May 1853 Marine (Civilian)  United States Rock Island, Oregon
SS Gazelle April 8, 1854 Marine (Civilian)  United States Oregon City, Oregon 1
Fieldhouse Mills[10] July 15, 1855 Industrial  United Kingdom Rochdale, Greater Manchester 10 13
SS Pennsylvania June 13, 1858 Marine (Civilian)  United States Memphis, Tennessee 250
Hembrigg Mills[11] June 27, 1863 Industrial  United Kingdom Morley, West Yorkshire 9
SS Ada Hancock April 23, 1863 Marine (Civilian)  United States San Pedro Bay, California 26 23
Calcutta Explosion 1863  India Kolkata, West Bengal
USS Chenango April 15, 1864 Marine (Military)  United States New York City New York 33
USS Tulip November 11, 1864 Marine (Military)  United States Potomac River, Maryland 49
SS Sultana April 27, 1865 Marine (Civilian)  United States Memphis, Tennessee 1800
Town & Son Factory[12] June 9, 1869 Industrial  United Kingdom Bingley, West Yorkshire 15
SS Senator May 6, 1875 Marine (Civilian)  United States Portland, Oregon
HMS Thunderer July 14, 1876 Marine (Military)  United Kingdom Portsmouth Harbour 45 70
Railway Explosion December 21, 1881 Locomotive  Australia New South Wales
Queensland Railways 1890 Locomotive  Australia Queensland
North East Dundas Tramway June 18, 1892 Locomotive  Australia Tasmania
SS Annie Faxon April 14, 1893 Marine (Civilian)  United States Columbia River 8
Zeehan May 1, 1899 Locomotive  Australia Tasmania
Grover Shoe Factory disaster March 20, 1905 Industrial  United States Brockton, Massachusetts 58 150
HMS Implacable July 12, 1905 Marine (Military)  United Kingdom 2
USS Bennington July 21, 1905 Marine (Military)  United States San Diego, California 66
HMS Implacable August 16, 1906 Marine (Military)  United Kingdom 2
SS Sarah Dixon January 18, 1912 Marine (Civilian)  United States Kalama, Washington 3
Southern Pacific Roundhouse March 18, 1912 Locomotive  United States San Antonio, Texas 26
Rumney Shed April 21, 1912 Locomotive  United Kingdom Cardiff, Wales
SS City of Liverpool[13] February 24, 1913 Marine (Civilian)  United Kingdom Manchester Ship Canal, Nr Runcorn 1
SS James T. Staples[14][15] January 10, 1913 Marine (Civilian)  United States Bladon Springs, Alabama 26 21
Destroyer Ikazuchi October 9, 1913 Marine (Military)  Japan Ominato
Buxton November 11, 1921 Locomotive  United Kingdom Buxton, Derbyshire
LMS 6399 Fury February 10, 1930 Locomotive  United Kingdom 1
DRG Class 04 April 3, 1939 Locomotive  Germany
Canadian National 242 August 9, 1941 Locomotive  Canada Montreal, Quebec 1 1
PRR 520 November 14, 1942 Locomotive  United States Cresson, Pennsylvania 2 4
SS Cascades 1943 Marine (Civilian)  United States Portland, Oregon
USATC S160 Class 1943, 1944 Locomotive  United Kingdom
Union Pacific 9000 Class October 20, 1948 Locomotive  United States 3
British Railways January 24, 1962 Locomotive  United Kingdom Bletchley, Buckinghamshire 0 2
USS Basilone February 5, 1973 Marine (Military)  United States 7
Bitterfeld Railway November 27, 1977 Locomotive  East Germany Bitterfeld 9 45
USS Willamette June 29, 1995 Marine (Civilian)  United States 0 7
Medina County Fair Ground [16][17] July 29, 2001 Antique Steam Tractor  United States Medina County 5 ~40
SS Norway May 25, 2003 Marine (Civilian)  United States Miami, Florida 8 17
Orewa College[18] June 24, 2009 Industrial  New Zealand Orewa, Auckland 1 1

St Mary's Hospital Passaic New Jesey Cleaver Brooks boiler Explosion 7/16/06

Key safety developments[edit]

Year Event/Activity Type Nation Description
1847 Institution of Mechanical Engineers Technical Society  United Kingdom IMechE formed, emphasizing the importance of specialized mechanical knowledge, particularly with respect to steam power (i.e., see also Institution of Civil Engineers)
1855 Steam Users' Association[19] Technical Society  United Kingdom In Manchester, the "Association for the Prevention of Steam Boiler Explosions, and for effecting Economy in the Raising and Use of Steam" is formed and, eschewing direct regulation, advocates creation of trained inspectors.[20] Later adds the prefix "Manchester Steam Users' ..." to the name.
1855 Ramsbottom Safety Valve Safety Valve  United Kingdom John Ramsbottom (engineer) invented a tamperproof safety valve.
1864 Bengal Act VI of 1864[21] Legislation  India Provided for the inspection of steam boilers in and around Kolkatta
1866 The Hartford Steam Boiler Inspection and Insurance Company Commercial  United States The first boiler insurance company in the U.S. is established in Hartford, CT[22]
1880 American Society of Mechanical Engineers Technical Society  United States ASME formed, largely in response to calls for improvements in boiler safety
1882 Boiler Explosions Act, 1882[23] Legislation  United Kingdom Required notice of a boiler explosion to be sent to the Board of Trade within 24 hours of occurrence and established inquiry authorizations
1884 ASME Boiler Testing Code Safety Standard  United States The "Code for the Conduct of Trials of Steam Boilers", the first U.S. code for conducting boiler tests, is issued
1890 Boiler Explosions Act, 1890[24] Legislation  United Kingdom Extended 1882 requirements to marine vessels
1911 Uniform Boiler Rules, Massachusetts[25] Legislation  United States The Commonwealth of Massachusetts adopts uniform boiler rules, the first state-wide boiler code to apply in the U.S. Equivalent rules are quickly adopted by other states (e.g., Ohio)
1915 ASME Boiler Code[26] Safety Standard  United States The ASME Boiler Code Committee issues "Standards for Specifications and Construction of Boilers and Other Containing Vessels in Which High Pressure is Contained"

References[edit]

  1. ^ Le Van, William Barnet (1892). Safety-Valves: Their History, Antecedents, Invention and Calculation. New York: Norman W. Henley & Co. pp. 134–135. Retrieved 2009-06-14. 
  2. ^ a b Grohman, Adam M. (April 2011). "Sentinels and Saviors of the Sea". Boating World U. S. Coast Guard Series. River & Sound Publishing of NY, Inc. Retrieved 2011-09-02. 
  3. ^ Schroder, Henry (1851), "Explosion of a Steam Packet Boiler at Hull", The annals of Yorkshire from the earliest period to the present time 1, Crosby & Co., Leeds, pp. 303–4 
  4. ^ "Abstract of the evidence at the inquest relating to the explosion of the boiler of the "Union" steam packet at Hull", The Mechanics' magazine, museum, register, journal, and gazette 27, W.A. Robertson, London, 1837, pp. 189–192 
  5. ^ Timperley, J.; Cubitt, W.; MacNeill, J.; Buddle, J.; Field, J. (1838). "On the Explosion of One of the Boilers of the Union Steam Packet, at Hull. (Includes Discussion)". Minutes of the Proceedings 1 (1838): 41. doi:10.1680/imotp.1838.24811.  edit
  6. ^ Lloyds Steamboat Disasters
  7. ^ "Boiler Explosion at Halifax". The Mechanics' Magazine LIII: 488–489. 6 July 1850th - December 28. Retrieved 2009-06-13.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  8. ^ Leeds Intelligencer 22 March 1851
  9. ^ Common Council, New York, NY (1850). Report of the Special Committee: Catastrophe In Hague Street. New York: McSpedon & Baker. Retrieved 2009-06-13.  Also see: Little, George P. (1860). The Fireman's Own Book, Chapter: Explosion and Fire in Hague Street. pp. 259–277. Retrieved 2009-06-13.  "The Dreadful Explosion in New York". The Friend: A Religious and Literary Journal: 176. February 16, 1850. Retrieved 2009-06-13. 
  10. ^ Dodsley, James (1855). The Annual Register, Entry for July 15, 1854: Terrific Boiler Explosion At Rochdale. London: F. & J. Rivington. p. 112. Retrieved 2009-06-13. 
  11. ^ William, Smith (1866). Rambles about Morley. London: John Russell Smith. Retrieved 2009-06-13. 
  12. ^ Burke, Edmund (1869). The Annual Register, Entry for June 9, 1869. p. 55. Retrieved 2009-06-13. 
  13. ^ Directors minutes of North Lonsdale Ironworls Co, BDB47 box 16 at CRO, Barrow
  14. ^ Ward, Rufus (2010). The Tombigbee River Steamboats: Rollodores, Dead heads, and Side-wheelers. Charleston, South Carolina: History Press. pp. 129, 169. ISBN 978-1-59629-285-7. 
  15. ^ James V. Swift (May 14, 2001). "This Southern Steamboat Had A Tragic Ending". Waterways Journal. Retrieved November 6, 2012. 
  16. ^ http://www.nlsme.co.uk/Articles/Boiler_Explosion.pdf Boiler Explosion in Ohio, USA First Hand Observations from Andrew Semple
  17. ^ http://www.nytimes.com/2001/07/30/us/steam-engine-blast-at-ohio-fairgrounds-leaves-4-men-dead.html Steam Engine Blast At Ohio Fairgrounds Leaves 4 Men Dead
  18. ^ Ruscoe, Kim (25 June 2009). "Death after school boiler explosion". Stuff.co.nz. Retrieved 29 May 2013. 
  19. ^ Fairbairn, William (1855). Useful Information For Engineers, Lecture III "On Boiler Explosions: The remedies applicable for the prevention of accidents arising from explosions" and [http://books.google.com/books?id=QkkOAAAAYAAJ&printsec=titlepage&cad=0#PPA350,M1 Appendix IV "Association for the Prevention of Steam Boiler Explosions" ] (1st ed.). London: Longman, Green, Longman, Roberts, and Green (4th Ed.). pp. 75–83, 350–353 (4th Ed., 1864). Retrieved 2009-06-13. 
  20. ^ Fletcher, Lavington E. (October 1869). "Boiler Explosions". Van Nostrand's Eclectic Engineering Magazine I (X): 940–941. Retrieved 2009-06-13. 
  21. ^ Bombay Legislative Council (1870). Proceedings of the Council of the Governor of Bombay. Government Central Press. p. 85. Retrieved 2009-06-14. 
  22. ^ Zartman, Lester William (1909). Fire Insurance, Chapter XIX. Steam Boiler Insurance. New Haven, Connecticut: Yale University Press. pp. 352–353. Retrieved 2009-06-14. 
  23. ^ Great Britain (1882). The Law Journal Reports for the Year 1882, Boiler Explosions Act (Chapter 22). pp. 41–43. Retrieved 2009-06-13. 
  24. ^ Great Britain (1890). The Practical Statutes of the Session 1890, Boiler Explosions Act, 1890. London: Horace Cox. pp. 332–333. Retrieved 2009-06-13. 
  25. ^ Heine Safety Boiler Co. (1920). Steam Boiler Engineering. St. Louis, Missouri: Heine Safety Boiler Co. p. 51. Retrieved 2009-06-14. 
  26. ^ Croft, Terrell (Ed.) (1921). Steam Boilers, Division 4 "Boiler Codes and Inspection Laws". New York: McGraw-Hill Book Company, Inc. pp. 73–76. Retrieved 2009-06-14. 

Further reading[edit]

Contemporary Listings and Accounts[edit]

Other[edit]

  • For a short status of European steam users' associations and boiler insurance companies c. 1897, see Hale, R. S. (April 1897). "European Boiler Practice". Journal of the Association of Engineering Societies. XVIII (4): 242–243. Retrieved 2009-06-13.