Sykesville, MD Railroad Boiler Explosion, Mar 1845

Correspondence of the Baltimore Patroit.

Sykesville, March 20, 1845.
Thursday morning, 10 1/2 o'clk.

We met with a sad accident on the arrival of the Western train of cars at this place from Baltimore, an hour since, although fortunately, and as it seemed by an over-ruling Providence, no lives were lost, and no one dangerously wounded. Water is usually taken here, and the boiler had just been filled, the Engineer MR. JOHN SMITH, of Baltimore, being at work on some part of the engine, when, one of the firemen blew the whistle, thinking the engineer was ready to start.
The passengers, many of whom stood near the engine, were just entering the cars, when the boiler suddenly burst, on the upper side throwing the Engineer some twenty feet forward and sideways about three feet, severing the iron coupling bar of 2 1/2 inches by 1 1/2, which united the engine with the tender, or wood car, and throwing the hind axle and wheels of the engine some ten feet from the track.
The fireman, MR. POLLARD, was thrown on the top of the wood car, but not hurt. The engineer MR. JOHN SMITH, (who has been on the road nine years and is said to be an experienced engineer,) was scalded about the face and arms, and a flesh wound made in the back part of his head to the bone, the skull not dangerously injured.
MR. S. was thrown back about 15 feet, and was considerably stunned by the concussion. MR. WHITE, the conductor, was scalded about the ankles and his face somewhat bruised, though he was able to walk. Very fortunately, neither of them inhaled the steam. They received every attention from the lady of the house. The passengers and two or three physicians who happened to be in the cars. (Dr. Chapman Biddle, a young physician from Philadelphia, and Dr. T. W. Johnson, of Fredrick County,) rendered their services in dressing the wounds of MR. SMITH, and in applying applications to relieve the pain of the burns of both of them.
A colored woman and child belonging to the public house, were also somewhat injured, but not so bad as the Engineer and Conductor.

One o'clock P.M. -- MR. WHITE and MR. SMITH are both sleeping quietly.
The pasengers have signed a paper stating that, so far as the facts could be gathered, the accident did not occur from any negligence of the conductor or engineer. A moment before the explosion, MR. WHITE discovered a leak in the boiler.

Republican Compiler Gettysburg Pennsylvania 1845-03-31