Providence, RI Mashapang Pond Icehouse Explosion, Feb 1895


The Accident Occurs Just as a Crowd of Rhode Island Ice Harvesters Begin Work on Mashapang Pond.

PROVIDENCE, R. I., Feb. 4--A boiler exploded at the icehouses of Earl, Carpenter & Sons, at Mashapang Pond this morning. Four men were killed and sixteen other injured.

The Dead.

The dead are:

DARY, MICHAEL, aged twenty-one
HEHIR, JOHN, aged thirty-five; leaves a wife and three children
HEHIR, PATRICK, aged fifty; leaves a wife and nine children
MORTON, WILLIE, a boy; died at hospital.

At the time of the explosion there were 100 men standing about the engine house waiting for orders to begin harvesting ice. Mertie Cross and John Nelson, the fireman and engineer, were given instructions ot start the engine, and they did so.

The first cake of ice had been carried ten feet on the run, when the endless chain caught, and at the same instant the boiler exploded. The driving wheel was thrown 200 feet into the air, and in falling struck the run, demolishing it. Portions of the engine were thrown 400 feet over the ice houses. The boiler proper, weighing three tons, was hurled through the end of the first ice house, the partition of which was three feet in thickness. In the house the two Hehirs were at work. The boiler struck them as it passed, and both were instantly killed.

The fireman, who was standing by the boiler, was not injured, but sixteen of the ice harvesters were more or less hurt. Willie Morton, a boy, was pinned under a piece of the engine, and died at the hospital this afternoon. Thomas Casey, Herbert Smith, William Morton, Thomas Nelson, the engineer; Martin Reagan, and Henry Butler, colored, were taken to the hospital. All but Nelson are in a serious condition. The others were only slightly injured and were taken to their homes.

The New York Times, New York, NY 5 Feb 1895