The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Daily Times (Oswego, NY), Tues., April 22, 1851

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Sad Disaster!
Serious Loss Of Life!!

The new and splendid Canadian steamer Comet, Capt.. A. O'Conner, came in yesterday morning from Hamilton, and after discharging 1,200 barrels of flour at the Custom House dock, she took a clearance for Kingston, and at about 3 o'clock P.M., after a few revolutions of her engines, while swinging round in the river, her larboard boiler burst, making a complete wreck of the forward part of the boat. Nearly the entire upper works, forward of the wheel houses, were blown off, and she immediately filled, and sunk to her guards, in about 9 feet of water, at the dock.

James Carroll, the 2d Engineer, was killed instantly. C. Hennesy, Carpenter, and John D. Wire, deck hand, are missing; they were doubtless blown into the river and lost. Royal Davis, 1st Engineer, is badly scalded and bruised. John O'Conner, waiter, is badly scalded, and is supposed cannot survive. A boy by the name of James Church, waiter, is also badly scalded, and cannot survive. Three others, Daniel McGuire, Thomas Regans, and James Eriel, are more or less injured, the two former seriously. Capt. O'Conner was upon the upper deck, working the boat out, at the time of the explosion, and received some slight injury.

The body of the 2d Engineer was taken to the Market building, upon which we understand a Coroner's inquest was to be held. The wounded were taken to the Frontier House, where they are well cared for.

To what caused the disaster is to be ascribed, we are unable to say. As in all similar cases, there is a variety of opinions, but it is generally believed that the boiler must have been defective. We regard the disaster as the first that ever happened in our harbor, and one that never happened to an American boat on Lake Ontario.

P.S. John O'Conner, one of the waiters, died last evening. It so happened that there were no passengers on board at the time of the accident.

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Tues., April 22, 1851
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Richard Palmer
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Public domain: Copyright has expired according to the applicable Canadian or American laws. No restrictions on use.
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Daily Times (Oswego, NY), Tues., April 22, 1851