Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Comet (Steamboat), burst boiler, 12 Nov 1849
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Bad Accident. -- The steamer COMET, on Ontario, had a rent in the back part of the return flues; the steam escaped, and several were killed thereby. Approaching Gibraltar Point, the steam being slackened, the engineer was surprised at an unusual escape of steam from the starboard engine. Not being able to discover the cause there, he rushed upon deck, where he was almost suffocated by the steam and ashes coming up the fire hatch; after several attempts he scrambled to the side of the hatch, and hallooed out if any person was below to come up, when he got no answer, but heard mournful moaning. The assistant engineer, with the greatest difficulty, made his way down the ladder, when a scene presented itself to his view more easily conceived than described. One fireman, named Matthew Nolan, quite dead, who has left a widow and four children, another named Michael Ring, dreadfully burned, unmarried, who has since died in hospital; a third, Matthew Smith, slightly injured, now in hospital, and out of danger.
      The bodies were removed on deck; the alarm having spread through the ship, there being a medical gentleman on board, Dr. A. Dougherty, he attended to the suffering of the survivors till they arrived in harbor, when an express was dispatched for Dr. Telfer, who gave an order for Smith and Ring to be removed to the hospital.
      The Daily True Democrat (Cleveland)
      Monday, November, 19, 1849
      . . . . .

On Monday evening of last week, the "COMET" while entering the harbor at Toronto, burst her boiler and severely injured several persons, one of whom has since died, and two others are in a very critical state.
      Buffalo Commercial Advertiser
      Wednesday, November 21, 1849

Media Type
Item Type
Reason: burst boiler
Lives: 1
Remarks: Repaired
Date of Original
Local identifier
Language of Item
Geographic Coverage
  • Ontario, Canada
    Latitude: 43.634444 Longitude: -79.370833
William R. McNeil
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Maritime History of the Great Lakes
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Comet (Steamboat), burst boiler, 12 Nov 1849