Massena, NY Freighter MILVERTON Collision, Sep 1947



Massena, N.Y., Sept. 24. (UP) -- Freighter S.S.
Milverton collided with a loaded oil tanker in the St. Lawrence River today, and a resulting explosion killed six seamen and injuring nine others. Seven men were reported missing.
New explosions were feared by officials as smoke continued to pour from the freighter's hold several hours after the collision.
The Milverton was beached on a small island in the channel. State police threw a cordon around the spot, keeping spectators at a safe distance.
The Milverton still had an estimated 4,000 gallons of fuel oil aboard, it was learned. In addition she was loaded with some 3,000 tons of coal.
MICHAEL PROCHNICKI, 20, of Winnipeg, Can., a fireman aboard the Milverton, said the fire apparently broke out in the aft part of the ship and spread over the entire vessel.
"Water all around the ship was covered by flaming oil," he said. "The tanker apparently leaked oil, but none of the fuel tanks on the Milverton were damaged."
It was PROCHNICK'S first trip, he said. "From what I could gather," he said, "in talks with other crewmen, the tanker cut across the bow of our ship and collided seconds later."
"I was half asleep in my quarters. When I fully awoke everything around me was on fire. I counted three or four dead on the floor as I made my way up to the deck. All was confusion. I saw two men dive overboard and one was cut to ribbons by the ship's propellor."
Two of the dead seamen were identified as WILLIAM ROBERTSON of Toronto and F. DOBSON, of Montreal. Four other bodies were taken from the Milverton, but were unidentified.
Six of the injured were reported in serious condition in Ogdensburg hospital. Three others were in Massena hospital. Their conditions were described also as serious.

Nevada State Journal Reno 1947-09-25


Milverton Disaster

Thank you very much for your post about the Milverton collision. Michael Prochnicki, mentioned in this article, is my father. He is now 84 years old and likely is the only person still living of the crew from this disaster. From time to time, he still mentions it, it affected him his whole life.