Scene of the Fatal Explosion in Philadelphia

Frank Leslie’s Weekly, published from 1855 to 1922, was an American illustrated news publication started by publisher and illustrator Frank Leslie. While only 30 copies of the first edition were printed, by 1897 its circulation had grown to an estimated 65,000 copies.

Our illustration represents the scene of the explosion of a steam-boiler, which occurred on the afternoon of June the 6th, at the steam saw-mill, occupied by Geary & Ward, No. 1,024 Sansom street, Philadelphia.

The explosion occurred at about six in the afternoon, and reduced the structure to a mass of ruins, nearly every person about the building being buried beneath the debris. Search was immediately commenced for the unfortunate beings, but before any of them were rescued, a fire broke out where the most of them were buried, and in a very short space of time the entire pile of rubbish was one mass of flames.

The shrieks of the men who were thus fastened in the very jaws of death were heartrending in the extreme, but all efforts of the firemen to rescue those who were smothering and burning to death were unavailing. About eight o’clock the fire was subdued, and search at once commenced. In a few minutes a number of bodies, blackened, scarred and disfigurred beyond recognition, were removed. The search continued during the entire night, and is still progressing. Ten bodies have been recovered from the ruins, and others it is feared are lost.

The engineer, though terribly wounded, escaped with life, and it is hoped will be able to give an account of the reasons for the accident. A subscription has already been started for the aid of the sufferers, and the management of the Chestnut Street Theatre have tendered the use of their stage, and are making preparations for a speedy benefit.

Scene of the Fatal Explosion in Philadelphia

Scene of the Fatal Explosion in Philadelphia

Source: Frank Leslies Weekly — June 22, 1867

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