C&O boiler explosion details?

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p51

Marty, it runs on steam!
I recently saw a photo that shows the aftermath of a boiler explosion, and the engine sure looked like a C&O Kanawha to me. The smokebox front is gone and the tubes are splayed radiating out, as far as 10-15 feet, in all kinds of angles from the front. I saw no mid-course or firebox damages from the angle of the photo but the stack and metal between it and the smokebox front appeared to be gone. Does this sound familiar to anyone? Does anyone have a clue when or how this happened? I’ve never seen a boiler incident where the tubes were launched out the front like that.
Sorry, I don’t have the photo to share here.
 

Jon Bentz

New Member
A C&O H8 Allegheny had a catastrophic crown sheet boiler explosion at Hinton WV in June 1953. The force of the explosion tore the boiler from the frame killing the three man crew and tossing the boiler end of end ahead of the remains of the locomotive. I haven't been able to find anything about a Kanahwa - but I'll keep searching.
 

Jon Bentz

New Member
Here's a link to an explosion in 1936. A C&O Mallet involved this time. I don't know the wheel arrangement but the C&O had lots of 2-6-6-2's in service around Beckley WV where this occured.
 

oldrk

New Member
I have seen the photo mentioned with the tubes out the front. it wasnt the H-8. I have seen photos of the H-8 explosion. Now I am wondering...
 

Pat

Photo Critiques Welcome
We are probably looking at the super heater tubes (not the fire tubes) propelled out of the smoke box by a failure in the fire box.
 

oldrk

New Member
I think Pat nailed it on the T-1. Here is an article on superheaters. If you read down to the bottom they talk about the superheater being prone to explosion.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Superheater

I will try and find some more info from my COHS CD that has a bunch of articles about boiler explosions over the years.
 

Pat

Photo Critiques Welcome
I suspect a failure of a fire box sheet, likely the crown sheet, blew the super heaters forward. In one of the following pictures it looks like the ash pan is also driven down on top the trailing truck. The header would have hit the petticoat and knocked the stack out of the smoke box.
 

C&O Railfan

New Member
That explosion was C&O T-1 #3020 outside Chillicothe, OH in May 1948. My great-grandfather was the fireman on that train. Quite an event, although I have had trouble finding much written about that accident. My grandfather has the original photos from 1948. He was 12 at the time and remembers it all well. Also, FYI, William Carroll Bush was the head brakeman, NOT the fireman, on that engine, as the caption under his picture in one of the above links suggests.
 
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David

New Member
I recently saw a photo that shows the aftermath of a boiler explosion, and the engine sure looked like a C&O Kanawha to me. The smokebox front is gone and the tubes are splayed radiating out, as far as 10-15 feet, in all kinds of angles from the front. I saw no mid-course or firebox damages from the angle of the photo but the stack and metal between it and the smokebox front appeared to be gone. Does this sound familiar to anyone? Does anyone have a clue when or how this happened? I’ve never seen a boiler incident where the tubes were launched out the front like that.
Sorry, I don’t have the photo to share here.
I have all imformation on this. it was C&O 3020 at chillocothe,ohio
 

Rlove

New Member
Interesting side note my dad knew the engineer on 3020 who was killed and the son who was also an engineer who after the c&o rebuilt 3020 refused to take the engine on its first trip back after the explosion. He told the supt. he would not run the engine because it killed his dad.
 




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