14 February 2013

A Leg Bone was Found Just Over the Fence (Terrific Explosion, Pt. 3)

[Part 1 is here.]


The Explosion Was Heard Seven Miles from the City -- Glasses Broken.

The explosion occurred at 7:35, according to the timepiece of the railroad men. Its effect on the surrounding country was very much like that of an earthquake. Many people explained it that way. Window glasses were broken, trees were seen to vibrate, plastering cracked, and general alarm was caused.

People who came in from the country during the afternoon inquired to find out what had happened. They declared that the shock could be distinctly felt seven miles out.

Harrowing Scenes Followed.
The news of the tragedy spread like wildfire throughout the city. Those familiar with the location of the round house noticed immediately that a great cloud of smoke and steam hovered over it, and many guessed that an explosion had occurred.

Every man in the employ of the shops has a family, or large family connections, and it required but a few moments for hundreds of these to gather about the gates of the shop yards, and plead for admission and for information. They were quickly joined by several thousand other people seeking information. But nothing definite could be learned. And for an hour or more it was impossible to tell how many men employed in the yards escaped injury, or whether any of them had.

Pieces of the wrecked engine were scattered all over the adjacent territory, and here and there a bone or a particle of brains or flesh added to the gruesomeness of the situation. A leg bone was found just over the fence, and a piece of the engine weighing upward of three thousand pounds was found 150 feet from where the explosion occurred. A negro found a handful of brains 100 yards away. A piece of the boiler about the size of a man's hand was picked up at the brewery, about three hundred yards distant. As these things came to light, the weeping of the mothers and sisters, wives and children, fathers, sons and brothers, who were in great mental distress because they had either heard the sad news from their loved ones or else because they could not get satisfactory information, beggars description." [Macon Telegraph (Georgia), 3 January 1902, Pg. 1 -- Viewed online at GenealogyBank.]

Next up: "Ambulance Kept Busy" and "Coroner's Investigations."

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