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1912 Steam Disaster in Texas

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GreenGene
GreenGene Member Posts: 290
edited June 2016 in Strictly Steam
This may have come up before but I've never heard of it. Was researching the recent boiler explosion and this popped up and what a case out of all the old time steam explosions. This locomotive exploded at the roundhouse and literally sent debris and the body parts of the station workers throughout the town and into the buildings, seriously there were body parts imbedded all over town.

Tons of drama here as well, seems the engine, No.704, had been in a train wreck, the RR wanted it back in service ASAP, workers didn't agree but work continued, they also were having labor issues and a walkout ensued so the RR brought in scabs who probably didn't know what they were doing.

On the morning of March 18, 1912 No. 704 was fired up to be put in service, on the initial fire something was wrong, some kind of pressure issue and it was shut down, they did something and fired it up again and moved it out of the building where it sat idling, the clock in the Machine shop indicated 8:55 AM and it would never reach 8:56, a split second later she, the men,or rather parts of them, and most of the yard were scattered around San Antonio.

There was a lot speculation as to what caused the accident but all they can really tell is there was a problem at start up that caused the crew to abandon it and blow it down, the boiler was then refired and steam pressure allowed to build after orders were issued that the engine had to be in service that afternoon, so here again we have a case of management refusing to listen to reason which was probably why they had a strike in the first place.

The crown plate had let go, it was probably damaged during the wreck and back then they didn't have much technology to test its integrity, it sure would have been nice to ask the crew why they shut her down in the first place.

The RR paid all claims without going to trial.

Check it out and the pics \/

http://colfa.utsa.edu/users/jreynolds/Tucker/exp1.html

Comments

  • GreenGene
    GreenGene Member Posts: 290
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  • BobC
    BobC Member Posts: 5,479
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    Steam is a harsh mistress.

    On the subject of industrial accidents caused by stupidity there is a shuttered shipyard about 4 miles from me. About 35 years ago it was a shadow of it's former self but still employed a few hundred people (was tens of thousands during the war).

    One day a supervisor ordered an overhead crane operator to move a load from one bay to another. The operator balked because the load combined with the reach was beyond the cranes specifications. The supervisor told the operator to move the load or resign.

    The crane operator was found under the toppled 40 ton gantry crane, unfortunately the supervisor was not. They whitewashed the whole thing and the yard shut down the next year.

    Bob
    Smith G8-3 with EZ Gas @ 90,000 BTU, Single pipe steam
    Vaporstat with a 12oz cut-out and 4oz cut-in
    3PSI gauge
    GreenGene
  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 16,894
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    Yup- people get hurt or killed because YOU CAN'T FIX STUPID!
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Towson, MD, USA
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Consulting
    GreenGene
  • GreenGene
    GreenGene Member Posts: 290
    edited June 2016
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    You can't fix arrogant management either.

    I was almost killed by a steam vault explosion at Pfizer because of some clown, we were warming up a line and he didn't want to work late so he opened a 20" main instead of bleeding off his line with the 2" bypass.

    About 300 gallons of water hit my vault down the street and exploded causing about 50k in damages. Everytime I tried to run it picked me up off the ground, I kept changing directions like a chipmunk.

    In typical management fashion he got a promotion.
  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 16,894
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    GreenGene said:

    In typical management fashion he got a promotion.

    Well, it shouldn't be hard to figure out how THAT happened........
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Towson, MD, USA
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Consulting
    GreenGene
  • GreenGene
    GreenGene Member Posts: 290
    edited June 2016
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    Blew apart the castings on 2, 3" F&T traps and crushed the S/S balls

    not to mention ruining my shorts ;)
  • jumper
    jumper Member Posts: 2,289
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    Recently a SWAT team maimed an infant with their stun bomb. No drugs were found. So....what happens to the lawyer who prepared the warrant? What happens to the judge who signed it? What happens to the SWAT team's managers and trainers?

  • GreenGene
    GreenGene Member Posts: 290
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    not sure what that has to do with a steam explosion
  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 16,894
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    Was that the same Pfizer that recently tried to relocate out of the U.S. to avoid paying taxes?
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Towson, MD, USA
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Consulting
  • GreenGene
    GreenGene Member Posts: 290
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    Yep. leeches

    You may have heard that "Ct isn't business friendly" and that's why they and GE left. BULL

    They and GE and others receive 5 billion a year in Corporate Welfare, it's a bad system initiated by Gov O'Neil and continued by each Gov since, we are Corrupticut. It's why our taxes are so high.

    Pfizer made out pretty good, we built and I mean WE, built them these amazing office towers in New London, it was a scrap yard, ( this is the location of the famous eminent domain case where they destroyed people homes and then left, ****), we bought the scrap yard, remediated it and $$$$$$$ and then Gov Rowland declared he was investing 350 million into New London, what no one knew was that money was 10 years of taxes on those buildings that state tax payers would pay for Pfizer.

    As the 10 years ended Pfizer abandoned those buildings and left for Mass to suck off those taxpayers.

    It's also interesting to note that since Pfizer and GE arrived in Mass that state announced it was cutting the education budget by 50 million. things that make you go hmmm

    http://www.masslive.com/politics/index.ssf/2016/01/gov_charlie_baker_cuts_50_mill.html

    all of Bostons students walked out and protested but it wasn't covered by main stream news, they're more concerned with promoting the failed theory that Corporate Welfare works.

    http://learninglab.wbur.org/2016/05/17/boston-students-plan-walkout-march-to-city-hall-to-protest-proposed-cuts/
  • jumper
    jumper Member Posts: 2,289
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    GreenGene said:

    not sure what that has to do with a steam explosion

    If nobody reforms procedures bad procedures continue. Pressure vessel explosions are freaks thanks to rupture disks.
    On the other hand we often spend billions$ correcting non-problems. Those recalled airbags are an example. A few dozen old ones blowing shrapnel into people's eyes sound horrible until you consider the tens of millions that don't. Way more people have been injured or killed by those bags exploding correctly than incorrectly.
  • GreenGene
    GreenGene Member Posts: 290
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    you posted about a SWAT team misadventure
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 15,784
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    jumper said:

    GreenGene said:

    not sure what that has to do with a steam explosion

    If nobody reforms procedures bad procedures continue. Pressure vessel explosions are freaks thanks to rupture disks.
    On the other hand we often spend billions$ correcting non-problems. Those recalled airbags are an example. A few dozen old ones blowing shrapnel into people's eyes sound horrible until you consider the tens of millions that don't. Way more people have been injured or killed by those bags exploding correctly than incorrectly.
    Yeah,
    Unless you're one of the people driving a car that's going to have the shrapnel problem eh?

    No, car safety issues need to be rectified and the manufacturers need to be held responsible for using the lowest bidder.
    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 15,784
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    @GreenGene
    I always keep a complete change of clothes at work.

    You just never know..............

    To be honest, it started with the day I had to drop the oil pan on the boss's model A. But after that I realized it's a good idea to have a change of clothes in general.
    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
    GreenGene
  • jumper
    jumper Member Posts: 2,289
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    >>Unless you're one of the people driving a car that's going to have the shrapnel problem eh?<<

    And if you're the one hurt or killed by airbag going off correctly,what then? Tens of thousands of times more likely.
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 15,784
    edited June 2016
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    jumper said:

    >>Unless you're one of the people driving a car that's going to have the shrapnel problem eh?<<

    And if you're the one hurt or killed by airbag going off correctly,what then? Tens of thousands of times more likely.</p>

    Hurt or killed by an airbag going off correctly?
    Under what conditions does this happen?

    Is the person properly wearing their safety belt and is their seat set at a reasonable distance back?


    You're right jumper, you changed my mind, a company should get away with making inferior products that put people's lives at an even greater risk.......

    Shrapnel from an inferior, cheaply made airbag is ok. Got it.

    GM's ignition switch disaster is ok too I suppose. You're far more likely to end up in a bad accident.
    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
  • jumper
    jumper Member Posts: 2,289
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    Chris,I don't know why some people are injured by airbags. But I have read that it happens far more often than the shrapnel problem. I'd be upset if my child lost an eye but a few dozen out of hundred million is not an inferior product. Especially in an automobile's environment with its vibrations and temperature changes. Your child might be struck by lightening as well but are you going to keep her indoors her whole life?

    On the other hand SWAT team tragedies are avoidable but who cares?

    Getting back to our original subject of industrial accidents. After forty years of OSHA why do we have any?
  • GreenGene
    GreenGene Member Posts: 290
    edited June 2016
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    Because of greed and complacency. Sometimes one or the other or both.

    Anyone who has worked the tough jobs knows few men have the balls to say "hey wait a minute, this is stupid"

    It's all "we're tough, you're a wuss, what are you afraid of?" and attitudes like that can get you killed
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 15,784
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    GreenGene said:

    Because of greed and complacency. Sometimes one or the other or both.

    Anyone who has worked the tough jobs knows few men have the balls to say "hey wait a minute, this is stupid"

    It's all "we're tough, you're a wuss, what are you afraid of?" and attitudes like that can get you killed

    Seen it many times.
    A few people didn't like how I reacted to dangerous tools or equipment. Tough.

    I'm also often the wuss wearing re-usable earplugs around my neck, or in my ears when I need to.
    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
  • KC_Jones
    KC_Jones Member Posts: 5,742
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    ChrisJ said:

    I'm also often the wuss wearing re-usable earplugs around my neck, or in my ears when I need to.

    My father was diagnosed as "almost" legally deaf because he didn't do this enough when he worked in power plants. He has hearing aids set at 90% right now. Doctor told him flat out he will very likely go deaf if he lives long enough (71 now). PPE is no joke. I have a pair of ear muffs hanging in my basement stairway. If I work in the workshop I grab them on the way down, if I am working outside I grab them on the way out. Same with my safety glasses and gloves.
    2014 Weil Mclain EG-40
    EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Boiler Control
    Boiler pictures updated 2/21/15
    ChrisJ
  • GreenGene
    GreenGene Member Posts: 290
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    haha

    years ago I was on a job it was a boiler retrofit, zv's, indirect, the works, 2 car garage walk out, love those, no stairs

    This one guy he had a LP tank torch and I smelled gas as he was soldering, I started yelling at him, I smell gas you have a leak, well he thought I was making fun of his flatulence, he jokingly waved his torch over the tank and it erupted into a fireball, I WAS GONE, not only outside the garage but down the driveway and down the street

    I turned around expecting to see disaster but all I heard was hysterical laughter coming out of the garage so I went back, he had just turned the valve off and it stopped, no damage to anything, but they were laughing so hard they were crying, they said they never saw anyone move so fast and that my feet never touched the floor.

  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 15,784
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    GreenGene said:

    haha

    years ago I was on a job it was a boiler retrofit, zv's, indirect, the works, 2 car garage walk out, love those, no stairs

    This one guy he had a LP tank torch and I smelled gas as he was soldering, I started yelling at him, I smell gas you have a leak, well he thought I was making fun of his flatulence, he jokingly waved his torch over the tank and it erupted into a fireball, I WAS GONE, not only outside the garage but down the driveway and down the street

    I turned around expecting to see disaster but all I heard was hysterical laughter coming out of the garage so I went back, he had just turned the valve off and it stopped, no damage to anything, but they were laughing so hard they were crying, they said they never saw anyone move so fast and that my feet never touched the floor.

    Perhaps it would've been better to go over and shut his tank off instead of pulling a George Costanza?

    I don't think he would've been mad.
    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
  • GreenGene
    GreenGene Member Posts: 290
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    actually he would have, he was a crazy Italian, don't touch his stuff