ROTTERDAM - The Prins Hendrikkade on the North Island this morning was an explosion on board the German passenger ship Gutenberg. Three crew members were killed. Two are still missing.

Part of the boiler of the ship was launched and found tens of meters down the Ruyterstraat visit. The damage in the area is large.

Since the accident just before the departure took place there are several wounded. How many there are is not clear.

Every morning at seven o'clock depart radar boats from Rotterdam to Germany. Like every morning it was eight minutes before seven pretty busy along the Prins Hendrikkade. Then came a huge blow.

"Moments later, the spot we were in the middle of an indescribable confusion. The whole quay was covered with splinters of wood and iron, and large pieces of glass, splashed with mud and disgust seem brine; the houses on the shore seemed as bewildered by fire. Especially the facade of the Cartonnagefabriek of Hofman company had suffered greatly. "

( Rotterdamsch Nieuwsblad, 10-08-1911 )


From all parts of the harbor ships were rushing to help. So eyewitness told The Gooyer, a soldier who would sail to Arnhem with his wife and child. He was aboard the Gutenberg when the explosion occurred. His wife suffered a head wound.

"There was soon a tug at us turned off a ladder we climbed on off, my wife with a heavily bleeding head, my happy child unharmed. One woman was terrible groan, she had broken her leg. We sailed to the shore and were in the inn yonder, where my wife was connected. There were there two dripping corpses of men. "

( Rotterdamsch Nieuwsblad, 10-08-1911 )

According Gooyer he owes his life to his service table. He pointed out that there were all kinds of dents. Probably because pieces of metal flew by.

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According to one expert, there were two boilers aboard the Gutenberg. In one of these boilers would have been a crack in the wall. The high pressure in the boiler has ensured the steam into a space between the inner- and landed outside boiler. When the pressure that was too high, exploded all.

Much of the boiler landed on the quay. A part of the casing flew fifty meters away in the Ruyterstraat.

"This is snatching enormous piece of iron hit everything that came his way in smithereens, splintered wood and iron, thundered a solid Ducdalf against the quays in pieces, one thick iron snapped some light through the reeds and sent a cloud of splinters along the air, like a cloud of doom, in which up to the high air, up on the roofs of houses, brought destruction. " (Rotterdamsch Nieuwsblad, 10-08-1911)

At the place where the boiler amounted at that time no one present.

The Gutenberg has sustained major damage. Ship 80 meter long lost almost the entire middle part and pilot. The chimney was blown away and the radar units are dismayed. The chimney ended up in the Oranjeboomstraat.

The remaining boiler ended up in the water. That meant that there is not followed by a second explosion.


To our knowledge, there have been three deaths; the second mate, an ordinary seaman and stoker. The sailor was only slightly 16 jaar oud.

Among the wounded is also captain of the ship. He was taken to hospital on Mountain Road. All the wounded have German nationality.

The number of injuries among the passengers is still unknown.

Three hours after the explosion was the first ship salvage the firm Branch site. The team berger P. Smith Jr. had just left before a diver water, which the situation has watched underwater. Below the water line the body of the stoker has been found.

Hoe ging het verder?

The death toll of the explosion aboard the Gutenberg runs eventually to five; Four crew members and one passenger.

It took three days to salvage the ship in the port of Rotterdam. There were eventually three docks needed.


Rotterdamsch Nieuwsblad – 10-08-1911 – Serious disaster in our port

The Telegraph – 10-08-1911 – The boiler explosion aboard the Gutenberg

Tilburg Courant – 10-08-1911 – fatal accident

Rotterdamsch Nieuwsblad – 12-08-1911 – Serious disaster in our port. jumped a cauldron of Gutenberg

Rotterdamsch Nieuwsblad – 14-08-1911 – Serious disaster in our port. jumped a cauldron of Gutenberg

Author: Dave Datema

published: 09-08-2018

story number: 93

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