Baltimore, MD Harbor Explosion, Mar 1913
Tonight 13 of the dead had been identified, as follows:
Capt. WILLIAM E. VAN DYKE, Baltimore, of the tug Atlantic.
ROBERT W. DIGGS, first mate tug Atlantic, Baltimore.
EDWARD WATTERS, chief officer of the Alum Chine.
JOSEPH P. LENNON, Baltimore, Atlantic crew.
CHARLES DAVIS, fireman on Collier Jason, Baltimore.
JOHN LIND, fireman, collier Jason, Baltimore.
JOHN MACKRAL, FRANK BOYLE, EDWARD CASSELL, ANDREW GAROTSKI, JOSEPH T. HOOD, WILLIAM BALSTON and PHILIP SMITH, all stevedores, of Baltimore.
Missing and Believed Dead.
The following are missing and believed to be dead:
From the Alum Chine:
JOSE GOMES, donkey engineer.
JAMES GIBSON, Cardiff, Wales, fireman.
JOHN DAVIS, Cardiff, Wales, fireman.
G. NEILSON, seaman.
_______ NELIBERG, fireman.
GUSTAV LEIBIG, seaman.
Two unidentified coal passers.
From Atlantic Transport barge No. 3:
WILLIAM MEYERS, Baltimore.
HENRY BUSEAMAN (unsure of spelling) Baltimore, assistant barge master.
Masses of Iron Hurled Miles.
Pieces of machinery and portions of the hull of the boat, weighing tons, were shot hundreds of feet into the air. Pieces of iron and steel 3 feet long and weighing 50 pounds were found at points on the Anne Arundel and Baltimore county shores, 3 and 4 miles from the scene of the explosion.
Seamen in scores of small craft and Capt. VAN DYKE, of the Atlantic, saw smoke coming from the dynamite-laden Alum Chine a few minutes before the explosion, and the launch Jerome was alongside the ship, rescuing many members of the crew and rushing them to safety. The witnesses say that when the explosion came the steamer jumped from the water as if a torpedo had struck her from below, and then fell to fragments, in which were mingled the, torn bodies of the dead.
The transport company's scow had been tightly tied to the big steamer, and the concussion from the ship's hold blew up the tons of dynamite still aboard that barge in an echoing explosion that increased the carnage and destruction. Several small craft in the harbor are believed to have been blown to pieces.
The tug Atlantic, which had twice rushed in to the rescue before the crash, was moving away when it was caught in the rain of charred wood and red-hot steel that fell in a shower for a quarter of a mile around, killing some of the crew outright and setting fire to the vessel.
Pick Up Survivors.
Coming up the river at the time was the big Britannia, and she rushed to the aid of the Atlantic, picking up many of the wounded who had leaped into the water. Some of them are said to have perished before the Britannia could get to them.
The Britannia ran a line to the burning rig, and started up the river with her, but the vessel sand before the Lazaretto lighthouse was reached.
For a time it was feared the revenue cutter Guthrie had shared the fate of the Alum Chine. PETER J. CURRAN, the boarding officer assigned to the ill-fated vessel had left on the Guthrie soon after 9 o'clock, and it was therefore assumed the cutter was near the scene of disaster when the explosion occurred. Collector WILLIAM F. STONE at once instituted inquiry. Great was the relief when it was ascertained the cutter and crew were safe.
Inspector CURRAN was an eyewitness to the explosion, the cutter being only three-quarters of a mile distant when it occurred.
Revenue Cutter Shaken.
"We had left the place of loading about an hour before," he said, "and stopped only long enough to get the number of the cars, of which three were still to be unloaded. The work was then in progress. Seven carloads already had been stored, and it was thought the cargo would be complete by evening."
"The Guthrie steamed away, going about a mile to wait for an incoming vessel, and it was while we were moving around that the captain and others noticed fire on the steamer. This appeared to be coming from the forecastle. Knowing the danger, Capt. DUNN, of the cutter, ordered every window opened so the explosion expected would not break the glass. He then steamed toward the burning vessel, but when within three-quarters of a mile the ship exploded. The Guthrie got a severe shaking, trembling like a reed in a storm."