The John Campbell locomotive explosion

The John Campbell Locomotive Explosion


Ironton, Ohio, June 14 – The Ironton Railway engine John Campbell blew up today on the incline above this city. The blast killed the engineer (Robert Boyer) along with Brakeman Hobble, and injured three other crewman.

Six search teams dragged the Ohio River at Ironton, Ohio, for three days before they found engineer Robert Boyer’s body. The “Campbell” workhouse of the 13-mile Iron Railway exploded while easing a string of ore and flat cars down the river incline leading to the loading cradle on the Ironton river front. Pieces of the boiler were recovered over 200 yards from the accident site, while the boiler landed in a barn. The “Campbell” named for the founder of Ironton, was a 4-6-0 built by Baldwin in 1892. The locomotive was rebuilt by the Iron Railway Shops and returned to service in 1899. Later, it became No. 64 of the DT&I.