We are no fatalists, and therefore believe that the great majority of the numerous accidents for which our country has such an unenviable reput"tion, are caused either by recklessness or carelessness. With the greatest amount of care and forethought which erring mortals can exercise, some accidents will, no doubt, occur; but, at the same time, we are confident that nine-tenths of those which have taken place might have been prevented by the adoption of such measures and the employment of such meanS as the common sense of almost any man might have suggested. For example, on the afternoon of the 21st ult., during a violent gust of wind, a large glass factory at Hunter's Point, near this city, was blown down, and two persons were killed and several wounded by the falling walls. Could this accident have been prevented ? It could, easily, by simply making the factory walls thicker when they were erec.ed. The verdict of the Coroner'R jury in this case was :—" We unanimously agree that Bernard Slane and Thomas Gill came to their deaths by the falling of the west wing of tbe Luilding known as the ' American Flint Glass Company Works,' during a violent blow of W1I1U; and that the above-named building was not constructed with sufficient strength for the purpose for which it was used." The walls of the structure were very thin —far too flimsy, according to the common sense of every man who examined them— and the mortar employed possessed little more adhesiveness than sand and water. It was erected last year by contract, at a very low price, to save money. The material damages by the accident amount to $10,000, and had four thonsand dollars extra been expended at first to erect a more solid structure, six thousand dollars would have been saved, and Mr. B. Slade, the father of the principal proprietor, who was killed, would now probably be in the land of the living. How recklessly " cent wise and dollar foolish" some persons are! , On the 16th ult. a large brick store in ? Milwaukie, Wis., suddenly fell, and killed five persons. The crash was not caused by wind or storm, but by the very defective wans, which could not support the weight of goods on their floors, and their weight was not very great. Tbis structure was also built with thin flimsy walls, to save money. The steamboat Pennsylvania, (noticed by us last week,) which exploded her boilers, and killed over two hundred persons, was engineered by careless men, as it is credibly reported that the disaster was occasioned by the want of water in the boilers. We might go On and instance hundreds of such cases, but those related are of recent date, and should be sufficient of themselves to awaken such I humane and intelligent spirit in the community as would lead to an entire reform in the means taken by all our people lor tne prevention of such shameful and mournful events.
This article was originally published with the title "Accidents—their Cause and Prevention"