The Advertiser (Adelaide) Wednesday 16 February, 1910
THE STEAMER ABOYNE.
DESTROYED BY EXPLOSION.
LONDON, February 14.
The British steamer Aboyne has been
lost on the River Tagus in Portugal. The
disaster is attributed to an explosion of
firedamp in the coal hole. Five persons
were seriously injured by the explosion,
which damaged the hull so seriously that
the vessel shortly afterwards sank, not,
however, before the crew were saved.
It has frequently been argued that explosions and fire required a specific source of flammable materials on board. Firedamp in the coal hole could happen on any of the period steamers. Note that the Aboyne sank rapidly as a direct result. These things could happen, and did.
If this is what Captain Bruce thought became of the Waratah no wonder he did not return to investigate - nothing left but debris. But there again perhaps he wanted the world to think this. After all there was no sound of explosion.