Pawtucket remembering 1925 boat explosion victims

Fifty-five people died in the Mackinac steam explosion in 1925.

Pawtucket officials held a memorial ceremony Thursday to remember the 55 people who died in the Mackinac steam boat explosion in 1925.

The ceremony was held at the Mackinac memorial marker at Festival Pier. The marker recently was moved to a more central area with a new flagpole during pier renovations.

The steamer Mackinac was carrying more than 670 passengers on a pleasure cruise from Pawtucket to Newport when a boiler exploded and dozens of passengers were burned on Aug. 18, 1925, in one of Rhode Island's worst disasters.

The state brought manslaughter charges against the boat's captain and chief engineer and a manager of a company that chartered the ship, but all were acquitted at trial.