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DEFENDER Explosion Eyewitness

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Old 01-04-2007, 09:08 AM
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Rabbit Hash, KY and Decatur, Al Shipyards
Posts: 1,160
Default DEFENDER Explosion Eyewitness

"Today, in 1905, the Towboat DEFENDER [Way No. T0588] exploded her boilers on Guyan Bar and burned, 10 killed."

When the P. A. DENNY was running excursions in Huntington WV in 1977, I had found some interesting facts about the local history at the public library, one of which described the explosion of the DEFENDER seventy-two years before. This information became the meat of my river narrative as the DENNY cruised the Ohio River.

No sooner had I finished with the tale of the explosion, there was a tapping on the pilothouse door and a little old gentleman entered and revealed that he was, as a small boy, an eyewitness to the tragic event.

"Bodies were hanging from the telephone wires on the Ohio side," he said. "And the boiler was found over in West Virginny."

All of this old fellow's testimony collaborated what was found in the library, and it was especially thrilling to find a witness to an event that seemed so far away until that knock at the pilothouse door.
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