Out of Gloucester


 

November 1896

Schooner Blows Up
Was Formerly a Gloucester Fishing Vessel

Sch. Emma J. Gott , belonging in Lubec, Me., was accidentally blown up by an explosion of gasoline in Salem Harbor Saturday morning. The schooner had a cargo of dynamite and gasoline, and was bound from New York to Boston, putting into Salem to land a small portion of the cargo. One of the Gasoline tanks leaked slightly, and when the cook lighted his fire, the gas had accumulated in such a quantity as to cause an explosion.

The crew consisted of Herbert Hunt, Mate Thomas McFadden, Cook Eleazer Tinker, and the captain's little 9-year-old son, Morris Hunt, was a passenger. Tinker was badly burned by the explosion, and was taken to the Salem hospital, but the others on board were uninjured.
Naturally with a cargo of gasoline and dynamite, the accident might, and in all probability ought to have been a worse one. The uncertain quality of dynamite was never better shown than in this that 300 cases of the explosive went through such an explosion without being set off by the shock. The gasoline was on the lower tier, and on top of the casks were the boxes of dynamite, packed in solsily. Had the dynamite gone off, it would have simply been annihilation for the vessel and crew and probably the dozen sail of vessels in the harbor would have been wrecked as well. Why the dynamite did not explode is one of the things no one can find out.

After the explosion the vessel was towed on the flats and beached, so that the damage of the vessel could be ascertained.
The Emma J. Gott was formerly a Gloucester fishing vessel, being built in this city in 1856. 

 

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