Duluth, MN boat engine explosion, Feb 1896


Edward Crager is still suffering acutely from the burns caused by the explosion of the engine in the gasoline launch Monday night when a party of five were hurled into the lake at New Duluth. Two of them were nearly drowned, Harry Holson and John McCullum. They were rescued from drowning by Crager, who worked heroically despite his burns.

The party was composed of these three men and William and Edward Markell, owners of the launch. Some trouble was experienced in operating the boat, which came to a standstill, not far from the shore. The Markells failed to get the engine into working order, and Crager volunteered to start it.

After cranking the engine once, the explosion occurred, and the men were thrown into the bay. The Markells are good swimmers and managed to reach shore, but Olson and McCullum were unable to swim. Crager, knowing this, and even though injured about the face and body by the explosion, rushed to their aid, and taking one at a time, got them to shore.

When he had reached shore after saving both men he collapsed. He was given medical aid, but his condition is considered serious.

The Duluth News Tribune, Duluth, MN 1 Mar 1896