New York, New York
January 8, 1902
MEET IN TUNNEL
REAR END COLLISION ON THE NEW YORK CENTRAL.
FIFTEEN VICTIMS ARE DEAD
FATALLY CRUSHED OR SCALDED BY ESCAPING STEAM
TWICE THAT MANY INJURED
DISASTER OCCURS ALMOST IN HEART OF CITY
Rescue Work Prompt and Effective Under Trying
Circumstances--Robber of Dead Narrowly Escapes
NEW YORK, Jan 8.--In the New York Central
railroad tunnel that burrows under Park avenue,
this city, two local trains collided today.
Fifteen passengers were killed and twice that
number were injured. A dozen of the latter were
seriously hurt, and the roster of the dead may
ALBERT M. PERRIN,
forty-three years old, recently from Chicago,
secretary of and second vice president of the
Union Bag and Paper company, residence New
Rochelle, N. Y.
B. D. C. FOSKETT, forty, New
A. E. H. MILLS, twenty-five, New
E. C. HINSDALE, thirty-five, New
MRS. A. F. HOWARD, thirty-five, New
FRANK WASHBURN, formerly of Chicago,
president of the Union Bag and Paper company, of
WILLIAM LEYS, thirty-five, New
Rochelle, general manager B. Altman & Co., New
THEO FORGARDO, thirty, New Rochelle.
WILLIAM FISHER, or
FORBES, twenty-five New Rochelle.
WILLIAM HOWARD, forty-eight, New
OSCAR MEYROWITZ, fifty, New Rochelle,
optician in New York and secretary of the New
Rochelle Yacht club.
FRANKLIN CROSBY, thirty-five, New
ERNEST F. WALTON, thirty, New
Rochelle, broker in New York.
H. G. DIAMOND, New Rochelle,
assistant general manager of the American Bridge
company of the city.
C. B. MARS, New Rochelle employed in
the New York custom house.
aged fifteen, New Rochelle, serious wound
Unknown man, taken unconscious to a hospital.
Alfred Wadely, florist of New York,
fracture of both legs, shock and scalp wounds.
Albert W. Adams a carriage builder of
New York, left leg cut off below knee.
George M. Carter, of New York, leg
G. M. Fisher, East Port Chester,
Mable Newman, contusions of body, and
Mamie J.. Rice, fractured nose,
lacerated ear and sprained ankle.
Sadie Scott, left hand and left foot
Richard Millineaux, compound fracture
Thomas T. Murphy, both legs broken
and internal injuries, condition critical.
Winfield Schultz, fractured legs and
A. McRae, leg fractured, all of New
Henry Keen, general manager of the
Siegel-Cooper company, this city, fractured ribs
and internal injuries.
George Winter, New Rochelle, compound
fracture of left leg; the leg was amputated.
William Brooks, of Erie Pa.,
lacerated face and possibly fracture of skull,
taken to Roosevelt hospital.
A Rear End Collision.
It was a rear end collision between a south
Norwalk local that run in over the New York, New
Haven & Hartford railroad and was halted by
block signals at the southern entrance of the
tunnel, and a White Plains local that came by
the Harlem branch of the New York Central. The
wreck occurred at 8:17 a. m., at which hour the
trains were crowded by suburbanites.
Most of the death, injury and damage was wrought
by the engine of the White Plains train, which
plunged into the rear car of the motionless
train and was driven through to the middle of
the car, smashing the seats and furnishings and
splitting the sides as it moved forward. The
victims either were mangled in the mass of
wreckage carried at the pilot,, crushed in the
space between boiler and car sides, or scalded
by steam which came hissing from broken pipes
and cylinders. The engine, in its final plunge
of forty feet, carried the rear car forward and
sent twisted iron, broken timbers and splinters
crashing into the coach ahead. Lights were
extinguished and from the wreckage and darkness
came the cries of the injured and calls for
assistance by those who escaped. Within a few
minutes the work of rescue, marked by heroism
and sacrifice, began. Alarms that brought every
available ambulance in the city, the police
reserves of five precincts and the firemen of
the central eastern district of Manhattan were
sounded at once. With police, firemen and
surgeons, came a score of volunteer physicians
and half a dozen clergymen.
Ladders Run Down Air Shaft.
Ladders were run down the tunnel air shafts and
the firemen and police attacked the debris with
ropes and axes. Passengers already had rallied
and were trying to release those imprisoned in
the debris. Father
Rev. Dr. Walkley, chaplains of the
fire department crawled in over the wreckage and
ministered to the dying.
Lieutenant Clarke of the fire
department, forced his way to the point where
Miss Rice and
lay and stood in water that scalded the flesh
from his limbs until the women were released.
T. L. Murphy, a passenger, both of
whose legs were broken and still held by the
timbers volunteered to remain as he was until
those around him were assisted.
Two policemen and
Chaplain Walkley reached
Mrs. Howard and
the chaplain gave her a stimulant. The policemen
were cutting away the seat which held the woman
down when a pipe broke. The scalding steam drove
them back and when the rescuers returned
Injured persons in need of immediate attention
were given temporary dressing by the ambulance
and volunteer surgeons and then hoisted to the
street. Many Park avenue mansions were thrown
open to the suffering, but most of the injured
were at once taken to hospitals. The dead were
carried to morgues and police stations.
An immense crowd, heedless of the snow which
swirled through the street, gathered about the
tunnel entrance and shafts and watched the
Vanderbilt is Barred Out.
was among those who came to the
tunnel, but the police denied him admission,
despite the fact that his family controls the
Responsibility for the disaster is unfixed, but
Superintendent Franklin said that so far he had
been able to discover
J. M., Wischo, engineer of the White
Plains train, is to blame. It is declared that
when the South Norwalk train stopped a flagman
ran back into the tunnel, and besides placing a
torpedo on the track, endeavored to flag the
on-coming train. The tunnel was beclouded with
steam and smoke, while the snow, which fell
through the air shafts, tended to obscure the
view. Engineer Wischo
and Fireman Flynn were arrested. A
signal man also was detained for a time but was
has issued a statement as to the accident in
which he declares that the block signals at
Fifty-ninth street were obeyed by the New Haven
train, while the engineer of the White Plains
train disregarded them. “The torpedo on the
track, went off,” said the superintendent, “but
he did not stop, even though the fireman called
to him to do so. The system of block signals is
such that it is a physical impossibility for a
signalman to make his light declare the track
free if another train is on the block.”
of Rochelle Park, one of the passengers on the
Danbury train, gave this account of the
“We were sitting quietly in the next to the last
car and there were only one or two unoccupied
seats. There were five cars. There were several
women in my car and also in the last car. We had
been stalled at Fifty-seventh street for some
time. Suddenly there came a terrific crash. The
lights in the car went out. There was a roar of
grinding steel and wood and a chorus of shrieks.
I looked back and saw the car behind telescoping
over the rear of our car and through that mixup
plunged a roaring locomotive.
I was thrown on my face by the jolt and I felt
some blood splash over my forehead. Stifling
smoke, and steam seemed to rise all around, and
looking back, I could see mangled persons
crawling about through the mist. Then suddenly
the car took fire where the locomotive was. Our
own idea was to escape. I found a friend of mine
right in front of me. He cried; ‘Open the
windows, for God’s sake!’ I turned to the window
and found the glass had all been shattered by
the collision. We climbed out. I saw several
persons almost covered with blood crawling out.”
The Nebraska State Journal, Lincoln, NE 9
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