Melrose, MA Terrible Street Car Explosion, Sep 1904




Police Begin Collecting Bodies -- Box Dropped From an Express Wagon.

Melrose, Mass., Sept. 22 -- An outward bound Boston electric car was blown to pieces at 8 o'clock last night near the corner of Wyoming and Main streets.
Six persons were killed outright, four died within a few moments, and several others were injured fatally. At least fifteen received injuries.
DR. MALCOM E. M'LENNEN, Melrose Highlands.
E. B. HAYNES, Melrose.
WINFIELD ROWE, Saugus, Mass., motorman.
E. A. STOWE, South Boston.
Four unidentified women and a 3-year-old girl.
GEORGE H. ANDREWS, of Melrose, compound fracture of the leg, foot blown off.
MRS. JOHN CONWAY, of Melrose, both legs broken.
DR. PERRY, of Wakefield, both legs broken.
EDWARD A. WATERHOUSE, foot blown off and otherwise badly injured.
The car struck a fifty-pound box of dynamite that had fallen from an express wagon. The front portion was blown in every direction, and the front dashboard hurled more than fifty feet. Motorman WINFIELD ROWE was among the killed.
The immediate vicinity presented a fearful spectacle, the ground being strewed with portions of the bodies of those who had been killed. So great was the force of the explosion that two men standing in the door of a store fifty feet away were severely injured by the flying wreck, while every window within a radius of a quarter of a mile was broken. The car was filled with workingmen on their way to their homes in the city, but among the dead was one woman and her babe.
All the doctors in the city were summoned and others were called from Medford, Everett and Mailden, as well as from Boston. Those of the injured who seemed likely to survive theirinjuries were taken to the hospitals of Melrose and Mailden. Others who appeared to be at the point of death were removed to houses, while the police began the work of collecting the dead.
The car was No. 14,814 of the Boston and Northern railroad. It was of the closed pattern, equipped with vestibules. It left the subway in Boston at 7 o'clock and was making the usual time to this city.
There were a large number of persons on the car when it left Boston, but several got off at Malden and beyond. Reports as to the number on the car when it neared Wyoming avenue are confusing, but it is said that there were thirty at least on board. Few have been identified.
The previous car had passed the scene of the accident about fifteen minutes before.
That the front wheel of the car mush have struck an explosive was shown by the fact that it was the front portion of the car that was damaged most, and it was in that part those were seated who were killed.
The conductor, who stood on the rear platform, was not injured in the least, and about ten feet of the rear end remained intact.
The express wagon from which the dynamite fell was driven by ROY FENTON, who discovered that the box had dropped off and rushed back to find it, but before he got within a hundred yards of the box the car came along and was blown up. FENTON was taken into custody.
Within fifteen minutes after the accident a crowd of 2,000 to 3,000 persons gathered about the scene. Relatives and friends of victims were rushing about, endeavoring to find their missing ones, while others, suspecting some of their families might have been on the car, were equally excited.

The New York Times New York 1904-09-22