Lafayette, LA Explosion Of Steamer FALLS CITY, Apr 1858


From the New Orleans Bee, 15th.
As the steamboat FALLS CITY was on her way up the river, about half-past 5 o'clock last evening, when opposite Fourth street in Lafayette, the head of one of her steam drums gave way, instantly killing seven persons, and wounding more or less, several others. The FALLS CITY had at the time about eighty cabin passengers on board, none of whom, it is said, are injured, and nearly all of whom, after the accident, returned to the city. The following list of those who are known to be lost was furnished us by Capt. SOUDDER, of the FALLS CITY, who assures us that to the best of his knowledge it is complete:
A child of MR. WEIRICK, clerk of the FALLS CITY, 3 1/2 years of age.
A child of Capt. CABLE, pilot of the boat, 2 1/2 years of age.
Deck hand on the John Simonds, name unknown.
WILLIS ROLLINS, second steward, (colored.)
LEE HARRIS, cabin boy, (colored.)
Two deck passengers who jumped overboard, and were drowned.
At the time of the accident the FALLS CITY was passing the John Simonds, which had just come up the river and had moored at the foot of Fourth street. The drum, as it was blown out, first struck a woodpole of the wharf, then glanced to the lower boiler deck of the FALLS CITY, which it stove considerably, and then struck the Simonds just forward of the wheel-house, and passing the pantry, made a complete wreck of it. One side of the Simonds was very badly shattered.
It is possible that the loss of life is greater than we have stated it, but in the confusion of the scene we could obtain no further intelligence than what we have already given. If, as we are assured by the Captain of the FALLS CITY, no one was killed among the cabin passengers on his boat, the loss of human life is probably about what we have stated. We hear that one cabin passenger, a gentleman, had not been seen by the officers of the FALLS CITY since the explosion, but whether he was lost or not we are unable to state.

The New York Times New York 1858-04-23