When the interviews were complete, the inquest ruled that the blast was likely due to the presence of too much steam in the boiler, implicating the engineer John McCune for negligence. They recommended that the city monitor boilers throughout the city through some system of inspection, and recommended that engineers not be hired without the proper training.
It would take a decade before this kind of regulation was made into law in Hartford. While the city leaders may have felt some resolution in creating an official explanation for the tragedy’s cause, the city’s spiritual leaders made it their mission to understand the tragedy in a spiritual context.
How could anyone make sense of the seemingly meaningless loss of human life?