Locomotive Boiler Explosion at McDunn

Beckley Post-Herald
December 31, 1934

Cause Fixed In Fayette Blast

Overheated Crown Sheet Resulting From Low Water In Boiler Held To Blame

Another Man May Die

Montgomery, Dec. 30 - (AP)

Representatives of the Interstate Commerce Commission investigating the explosion of a boiler on a coal company work train that killed 16 men and injured 43 reported today that the blast was caused by "an overheated crown sheet on account of low water."

Three inspectors for the bureau of locomotives of the commission said that a formal report to that effect will be submitted to the chief of the bureau in Washington after completion of their inquiry tomorrow.

L. D. Allison, of Columbus, one of the inspectors, said "the explosion was due to an overheated crown sheet on account of low water."

Allison, W. A. McKown, of Columbus, and J. M. Hall, of Washington, assistant ch[i]ef inspector, are conducting the inquiry.

The finding as reported by Allison concurs with that of Clarence L. Jarrett, state labor commissioner, who also expressed the opinion that lack of water caused the boiler to explode.

The No. 5 mine of the Elkhorn-Piney Coal company, to which the work train was carrying about 350 miners at the time of the blast last Thursday, is scheduled to resume operations tommorrow [sic].

Six of the blast victims were buried in cemeteries in and near Montgomery.

One more of the injured, B. H. Holstein, 35, who suffered burns of the face and hands and multiple abrasions, was released from the Coal Valley hospital today, leaving 24 still patients there. The hospital said another of the injured, Homer Craft, 38, of Powellton, was "desperately ill" and is not expected to recover.


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