CATASTROPHE: Second Greatest

"I looked up." said one witness, "and I saw what looked like a burning log hurtling through the air. It landed on the roof of the building and bounded to the street. It was a man."

Other New Yorkers who happened to be near the East River at 135th St. one morning last week told of seeing the 44-year-old excursion steamer Observation push off from her pier with the usual cargo of workmen going to their jobs on a new-penitentiary on an island in the river. Next instant, deafened by a water-boiling explosion,...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!