EXPLOSION OF THE STEAMER WASHOE'S BOILERS - SUPPOSED KILLED, ONE HUNDRED - WOUNDED AND MISSING, SEVENTY FIVE - SEVERAL SAN FRANCISCANS AMONG THE NUMBER - ATTENTION PAID BY THE SACRAMENTANS TO THE WOUNDED - THE CAUSE OF THE CALAMITY - SCENES AND INCIDENTS - ETC., ETC.
We compile an account of this terrible disaster from dispatches published in the evening papers. The explosion of the boilers of the Washoe took place at ten o'clock, at a point just above the Hog's Back, about ten miles above Rio Vista, on her up-trip on Monday night. One of the boilers collapsed a flue, and, it is said, made a clean sweep aft, going overboard through the stern of the boat. The cause of this dreadful calamity, according to D. M. Anderson, the engineer, (who died at the Sacramento hospital just after he made the statement,) was rotten iron in the boiler. At the time of the explosion there were one hundred and twenty-five pounds pressure on the boiler, with two cocks of solid water. The engine was high pressure. The upper works of the boat aft were completely shattered, some portions of them, with the state rooms being blown overboard. The boat had passed the Hog's Back about four or five minutes before the explosion. She was about twenty yards off the left bank at the time, and the whole steering gear being destroyed, she took a sheer and ran ashore, her bow providentially touching a tree, to which those not injured fastened the boat. Had she not run ashore, almost everybody on board would have been lost, as they could not steer the wreck, and they had no boats, the steamer sinking gradually astern. The boat was set on fire in three places, which added to the horror of the scene. The fire, however, was put out by the few who were uninjured. The Chrysopolis was a long way ahead, and knew nothing of the matter. The Antelope being behind, came up and took off the wounded and a large number of the dead, and brought the first news of the sad affair to Sacramento.
MEASURES FOR RELIEF OF THE WOUNDED, AND TAKING OFF THE DEAD.
On the arrival of the Antelope at Sacramento, about half-past five o'clock yesterday morning, with the terrible news, the alarm-bells of the city were rung, and the Howard Association turned out to attend to the wounded the steamer had brought up. The scene for the three hours that elapsed before the Antelope reached the steamer Washoe is described as most horrible. All who were alive had been taken ashore, but there was no shelter for them. Those of the wounded who were able to move sought shelter in the sand and brush, groaning and screaming with pain. One man, who was scalded from head to foot, got ashore, and in a nude state stood and screamed for help, but would not allow any covering to be put on him. A woman in a similar condition was brought up on the Antelope. The steamer carried only the wounded to Sacramento. A large number of the slightly wounded, who could walk or ride, were taken to the rooms of the Howard Association. The Association hired the Vernon House for a hospital for the sufferers. On board of the Antelope the scene was a most dreadful one. Her entire upper cabin, with the exception of the passage-ways, was covered with mattrasses, on which the injured were lying, sixty-three in number. Others were in the ladies' cabin, and still others in the dining-room. Four are reported to have died on the way up, and at the time of landing others were gasping their last on the levee. At the Vernon House the Howard Association have a large number of members, who, with a large force of ladies, are doing all that can be done for the sufferers. The Association also has a committee out collecting, who have so far met with good success. Immediately on the arrival of the Antelope, the steamer Visalia fired up and went down to the wreck to bring the bodies of the dead left there by the A., and also such others as may be recovered while she is there.
[approximately 1,200 words listing dead and wounded has been omitted.]
Flags were at half mast yesterday, on the Masonic Temple and most of the engine houses, and on a number of private buildings in Sacramento. The entire medical fraternity were in attendance on the sufferers, as well as the clergy of all denominations.
The opinion is now that the total dead will exceed ninety, if not one hundred.
Too much praise cannot be awarded the members of the Howard Association, who almost to a man were engaged in behalf of the sufferers after the arrival of the Antelope. A large number of ladies were in constant attendance also at the Vernon House, doing all that they could do to alleviate pain. The collections in Sacramento have been quite liberal.
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