Maxton, NC Boiler Explosion, June 1935

TWO KILLED AND NINE INJURED IN MAXTON EXPLOSION.

BOILER AT SAW MILL RIPS IN HALF -- INSUFFICIENT WATER BELIEVED TO BE CAUSE.

PART OF BOILER BLOWN 300 FEET.

Two persons were killed, 9 others were injured, one perhaps fatally and 2 others very seriously, Saturday morning in the explosion of a boiler at a saw mill operated a mile from Maxton in the edge of Hoke County.
The dead are: THOMAS WILSON, aged about 42, foreman of the mill, and CLARETTA JACKSON, an Indian woman who had come to the mill for water. The injured are: JAMES CHAVIS, Indian, scalded all over and not expected to live; RALPH STEVENS, white, both thighs broken and scalded; ROOSEVELT WOOTEN, colored, compound fracture of leg; BESS RADLEY and FRENCH McCOY, colored, each with leg broken; JESSE and LEONARD LOCKLEAR, Indians, FRANK BAKER and JIM MOORE, colored, scalded. Six of the injured were taken by ambulance and autos to the Laurinburg Hospital. The others were treated by Maxton physicians.
The mill was operated by R. L. McLeod of Maxton and D. J. Sinclair of Laurinburg. A belt had run off, causing the mill to stop. While the belt was being put on, WILSON walked to the boiler and was looking at it at the time it exploded. The fireman, CHAVIS, and the woman getting water from a pump, were each near. WILSON and the woman were instantly killed. CHAVIS was blown several feet.
The boiler was of the locomotive type, a high-pressure Frick boiler, with a plate five-eighths of an inch thick. It ripped in half, and one heavy piece was thrown 300 feet away. Eye witnesses said it went as high at 300 feet. The firebox was blown several feet. The noise, said eye-witnesses, resembled an explosion from dynamite. Insufficient water in the boiler is believed by Mr. McLeod to have been the cause of the explosion.

Robesonian Lumberton North Carolina 1935-07-01