A sad disaster occurred on the North River, off New York city, on the afternoon of August 28th, when the steamer Riverdale, burst her boiler and sunk in mid-stream. The steamer was nearly Opposite the foot of Twelfth Street, and was about 150 rods from the shore, when a dull, heavy sound, like the fall of a ponderous hammer, was heard, followed by the uprising of a dense cloud of smoke, steam, and flying splinters. The pilot-house and smokestack were thrown high In the air, and the vessel soon began to sink, disappearing from view within ten minutes. About one-half of the persons on board had distributed themselves upon the upper decks, fore and aft, while several women and children were in the after cabin. Many of them were blown into the air or thrown into the river by the shock, two being killed outright by the explosion, and a third drowned. while two others died within a few hours from their Injuries. Fiffteen more persons were injured. and the loss of life would have been much greater If a large fleet of tug-boats and row-boats which was near by hand not gone immediately to the rescue.
Frank Leslie's Illustrated Newspaper, September 8, 1883.