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|Cambria Freeman, 28 Nov 1902, Contributed by Patty Millich|
About two train lengths west of Mineral Point, at 10 minutes to 5 o'clock Monday morning, engine No. 2113, which was pushing from Conemaugh to Gallitzin a freight train, drawn by engine No. 2129, was destroyed by an explosion of its boiler. The following casualties resulted:
Daniel Pringle of Conemaugh died at the Altoona hospital from injuries received.
Flagman Scott Seese of the train which was being pushed up the mountain, was instantly killed while seated in the caboose, just ahead of No. 2113.
Fireman Harvey Miller, of No. 2113 was blown about 300 feet and bruised about the head and face, but escaped serious injury.
Conductor Samuel Davis and his brakeman who were seated in the caboose of No. 2129 with Flagman Seese were seriously injured.
Flagman Seese's remains were taken to his home in Altoona. Mr. Pringle was not dead when picked up, but it was seen that his injuries were very grave and he was hurried to the Altoona hospital where he died between 12 and 1 o'clock in the afternoon.
Fireman Harvey Miller's escape was marvelous, and as he was on the engine when it blew up his story is in point. Miller says that the engine showed 205 pounds of steam and was not puffing hard in going up the mountain. There was no sign of a leak and the cause of the explosion will probably never be known. The engine was one of the H6 class A type, and had been out of the Altoona shops only about six months. It weighed ninety-six tons and was in every way shipshape, to judge from appearances.
Miller, after the remarkable flight through the air, landed in some berry bushes in a sort of a swamp. He had sailed over railroad tracks and a gully, and was very much surprised to find himself scarcely injured. He hurried back to the scene of the wreck and flagged two trains which were coming up the track. As he had no lantern he had to jump on each train and talk to the engineer so that his feats in trying to prevent worse damage were not the least notable part of the terrible accident.
Flagman Scott Seese was struck by a piece of the crown sheet which was blown out when the explosion occurred. He leaves a wife and several children at Altoona. All the members of his crew, it is said, live in Altoona and were homebound from the run to Walls Transfer, now known as Pitcairn.
The debris of the smashed engine was piled on both tracks and delayed travel until between 9 and 10 o'clock in the morning.