Published Resources Details Journal Article

The Bullfinch disaster
The Engineer
vol. 88, 11 August 1899, p. 140

Accession No.588


The inquest into the deaths of the men who had lost their lives in the Bullfinch disaster on the 21st of July 1899 was resumed at Haslar Hospital. The only evidence of technical importance given was that of Mr. W. H. Tyake who was in charge of the engines for the contractors on the day of the trial. Shortly before the accident the Bullfinch (length 210 feet, beam 20 feet 6 inches; draught 7 feet 10 inches) built by Earles' Shipbuilding and Construction Company, Hull, for the British Government, had attained a speed of 29.74 knots with the engines running at 392 revolutions per minute. A short inspection made by Mr. Tyacke after the accident revealed that the connecting-rod of the high-pressure starboard cylinder was broken, and that the cylinder was broken for two-thirds of its circumference just below the cover flange. The connecting rod was broken just below the top end fork. The fork itself was split in halves vertically, on a line corresponding with the centre line of the rod. The revolving machinery carried round the main part of the rod, and part of it had buried itself in the air pump. Messrs. Cammell and Company, Sheffield, made the broken rod. After the accident Mr. Tyacke had also examined the other connecting rods, and in the intermediate cylinder connecting rod had found the commencement of a similar vertical crack. On the port side the high-pressure cylinder connecting rod had a small crack, following a similar vertical line. There was also a serious crack following very much the same line in the intermediate cylinder rod, but the low-pressure rods were perfectly sound.