The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Unique (Propeller), U25299, boiler explosion, 13 May 1895

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      Two Men Killed and Another May Die -- Terrible Accident on Lake St. Clair.
Detroit, Mich., May 14. -- A terrible accident occurred at 5:30 o'clock last evening on the new river steamer UNIQUE in Lake St. Clair. Two men were killed and a third may die. At 4 o'clock the UNIQUE left Detroit bound for Port Huron after a down trip which was the quickest ever made between Detroit and Port Huron by boat.
      When about nine miles from Belle Isle a crash was heard by the passengers to proceed from the boiler room. This was followed by clouds of steam and soot, which was driven through the hatches with terrible force. At the same instant the explosion occurred.
      The deck hands saw George Robinson of this city and engineer of the boat, who was sitting on the port rail, thrown overboard. Life preservers were thrown to him at once, but as the boat was going at full speed they did not come within his reach. A boat was at once lowered and a thorough search made for him but he had disappeared and was given up for dead.
      As soon as the condition of affairs below would warrant it, the officers of the boat went below and found a crack about an inch and a half long in one of the boiler flues.
      On the floor of the boiler room was Anthony Case, a coal passer, who was killed outright. Near him was John Plant, a fireman, who was taken from the fire hold frightfully burned.
      Buffalo Evening News
      Tuesday, May 14, 1895
      . . . . .
      One man Killed and Another Blown Overboard and Drowned.
      Detroit, Mich., May 14. -- While the river steamer UNIQUE was bound up lake St. Clair last evening a tube in one of her boilers blew out, killing Anthony Case, George Robinson, the engineer, who was sitting on the port rail, was blown overboard and drowned. There were 40 opassengers on board the UNIQUE, but a panic was averted.
      The UNIQUE weas brought here by a tug.
      Buffalo Enquirer
      May 14, 1895
Steam screw UNIQUE. U. S. No. 25299. Of 381 tons gross; 190 tons net. Built Marine City, Mich., 1894. Home port, Port Huron, Mich. 163.0 x 20.5 x 11.0 Of 1,400 estimated indicated horsepower.
      Merchant Vessel List, U. S., 1899

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Reason: boiler explosion
Lives: 2
Remarks: Repaired
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  • Ontario, Canada
    Latitude: 42.400277 Longitude: -82.624166
William R. McNeil
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Unique (Propeller), U25299, boiler explosion, 13 May 1895