13 February 2013

I Cannot Live; You Cannot Do Anything for Me (Terrific Explosion, Pt. 2)

[Part 1 is here.]

"Location of the Injured Men.
The engine was standing over a pit in the portion of the yard where the circular sheds forming the round house fail to meet. Two long tracks enter there from the yards, and there are four of the pits in the open space.

The engine which blew up was in one of these and two pits further to the right, looking toward the swamp, Mr. R. L. Willis was at work under an engine. There was another engine over the pit and between him and the exploding engine. The boiling water and deadly steam broke by the intervening engine, and reached Mr. Willis, burning his arms and stomach. His face was also scalded, and his eyeglasses were blown away. They have not been found. They were all that saved Mr. Willis from from the loss of both of his eyes, for the hot water burned deeply above and below each eye.

Mr. Willis' assistant was James O'Neal, who was standing just outside of the pit in which Mr. Willis was at work. The concussion forced him against the engine and the debris piled on him. He was taken out in such condition that many supposed he was dead. That he was able to breathe was not known to his associates until some time afterward.

Mr. Henry Fox was inspecting an engine near by, and was struck by the flying debris. When taken out he said: "I cannot live; you cannot do anything for me. Go and help somebody who needs help."

Mr. Wilson was a carpenter at work on the roof of the circular shed near Mr. Willis. He and those who were assisting him were blown a considerable distance, but if he escapes death those who were with him are thought to be safe."


No. 1 is where the engine stood before the explosion occurred.  It is a
pit with two tracks over it, so that when the engine is back on it, men
can get under the engine and work.
No. 2 is the pit in which Mr. Hodges had been at work.  No. 5 is where
Mr. Hodges was found after the explosion.  He was crossing the open
space presumably to attend to some matter in another part of the yard.
No. 3 is the engine under which Mr. Willis had been at work.
No. 4 is the location of the engine that was between Mr. Willis and
the exploding engine.  It was badly wrecked by the explosion, as was
also the engine under which Mr. Willis had been at work.
There are engines on the two blank tracks, but they were not hurt, the
force of the explosion seeming to go toward the right.  The missile
which struck Mr. Hodges, however, went to the left.  It was never
identified, and probably struck a glancing blow and passed on.

[Macon Telegraph (Georgia) 3 January 1902, Pg. 1]

Next up: "Like an Earthquake" and "Harrowing Scenes Followed."

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