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Discussion Forum

Sad headlines today..

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S-E Michigan Part Timer

07-30-2001 10:00:13

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MEDINA, Ohio -- Four people are dead and 48 others were injured in an explosion at the Medina County Fairgrounds Sunday.

Officials say that an antique steam engine on a tractor blew up without warning. Shrapnel was found up to 100 feet away from the blast site.

"It shook everything. I've never heard anything like it in my life," Medina resident Bill Remington said.

Officials say that the investigation will be complicated because the owners and operators of the equipment were killed in the blast. The owners, Cliff Kovacic, 46, and William Kovacic, 27, were killed, along with Alan Kimble, 46, and Dennis Jungbluth, 58. They were all Medina residents.

The injured include two police officers and several children. The police officers were reportedly ticketing the driver of the tractor for driving it on a highway.

All of the injured were taken to six local hospitals -- Medina General, Akron's Children's Hospital, Akron City Hospital, Wadsworth-Rittman Hospital, Lodi Community Hospital and Cleveland MetroHealth Medical Center. Fifteen people were treated and released.

A mass casualty plan was activated at the fairgrounds Sunday. Crews and helicopters from as far away as Pittsburgh and Columbus came to help.

The victims suffered severe burns from the engine's hot oil and steam and cuts from flying debris.

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07-30-2001 18:57:32

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 Re: sad headlines today.. in reply to S-E Michigan Part Timer, 07-30-2001 10:00:13  
See the postings on the "Tractor Talk" section of the board. My heart is saddened, not only for the loss of precious life, but the bad image tractor shows will be getting. Prayers for the injured.

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Michael Soldan

07-30-2001 16:43:54

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 Re: sad headlines today.. in reply to S-E Michigan Part Timer, 07-30-2001 10:00:13  
S-E Michigan Part Timer, Thanks for posting the details our local Paper( London Ontario) had scant details. I have heard my father tell of a steam engine exploding when he was six years old out in Manitoba about 1915. He claimed if a boiler gets low on water and the valve is turned on with cold water they will blow, a cubic inch of water equals 500 cubic inches of steam. I have been leery of getting close to steamers at shows. These were our kind of people and I hope the Lord blesses them and keeps them , the dead , the injured and their families. We can all pray for them . If there is anything we on this forum can do, lets do it. Mike in Exeter Ontario

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Dick Davis

07-31-2001 04:36:06

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 Re: Re: sad headlines today.. in reply to Michael Soldan, 07-30-2001 16:43:54  
Michael, I seem to recall the expansion ratio of water to steam is 1:1600 not 1:500. Whichever is correct, steam is a powerful medium. This power when applied to 80-year-old metalurgy and 80 years of deteriation can lead to a dangerous situation. I feel for the dead and injured as well as those steam collectors that will suffer from this most unfortunate event. How many steam tractors could pass a "boiler inspection" if mandated by fairs and other exhibition grounds? Dick

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The Red

07-31-2001 08:07:29

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 Re: Re: Re: sad headlines today.. in reply to Dick Davis, 07-31-2001 04:36:06  
The accident got the Indiana State Fair's attention. They are asking the two owners to have a thorough inspection by a certified inspector before running the two machines at the fair this year.

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Flyin Farmall

07-31-2001 18:09:13

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 Re: Re: Re: Re: sad headlines today.. in reply to The Red, 07-31-2001 08:07:29  
aren't they supposed to be inspected annually? here in WI we are to be inspected once a year

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Steve J

07-30-2001 11:57:32

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 Re: sad headlines today.. in reply to S-E Michigan Part Timer, 07-30-2001 10:00:13  
Saw that article in the paper this morning. We just spent the weekend at the steam show held south of Mason, Michigan every year. Lots of tractors and steam engines to look at and admire ( we took our H, 340 and 450). It did cross my mind over the weekend, while watching the steam engines pull a weight sled, and feeling the heat radiating off them, to wonder if they ever exploded. Guess I got my answer. I feel very sorry for the people who where killed and injured - it makes my skin crawl just to think about being scalded by hot water and oil! There are dangers in most every thing we do, I guess. I grew up on a farm, working with all kinds of equipment, and thinking back on some of the things we did, and the chances we took, it is a wonder I still have all my fingers, toes, arms and legs. I guess I'll still take my chances at a tractor or steam show over driving down the highway to get there!

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