Porter, IN Train Wreck, Feb 1921
FORTY-FOUR PERSONS KILLED WHEN NEW YORK CENTRAL TRAIN CRASHED INTO THE MICHIGAN CENTRAL LIMITED
NUMBER OF THE INJURED GOES INTO HUNDRED
Accident Occurred at Porter, Ind., Last Evening About 6:30 O'Clock; Towerman Believes The Michigan Central Engineer Was Asleep; New York Central Passenger Train Had Right-of-Way Which was Bound For Chicago From Boston And Was Going at Rate of Sixty Miles an Hour; Women Tore Up Their Skirts to Make Bandages For The Injured.
WOODEN COACHES CONTRIBUTED TO DEATH ROLL
By International News Service
PORTER, Ind., Feb. 28. -- Forty-four known dead at noon marked the tragic roll of the New York Central - Michigan Central rail horror here. It seems certain that the death list would be swelled as rescue parties continue their search under the grim monument of wreckage which makes the scene of last night's crash of the Michigan Central "Canadian" and the New York Central's "Interstate Limited."
Thirty-six of the bodies were in the improvised morgue at Chesterton, a mile from here, and three in Michigan City, Ind., when just before noon, the three other bodies were found. At this hour the number of injured was placed at close to one hundred. It was considered remarkable that those of the injured who did not die within an hour or two were but slightly hurt.
Indiana began its official investigation by sending Henry Sink and J. Q Martin, railroad inspectors for the Public Service Commission.
WILLIAM F. LONG, engineer of the Michigan Central train, was found this morning in Michigan City. There behind locked doors he faced the questioning of the division superintendent of the road. Every effort was made to keep the Michigan City inquiry and its result secret. Fireman GEORGE BLOCK, Brakeman WALTER SCHNECK and Conductor FOOTE also were facing the superintendent, it became known, however.
A thorough investigation of the catastrophe was launched by officials of both roads to determine responsibility The towerman at the intersection of the two roads claims that the Michigan Central train ran past two block signals that had been set against it.
There is a diamond intersection of the two roads here. The Michigan Central Flyer had halfway shot over the intersecting tracks when the New York Central Limited plowed through a wood day compartment of the Canadian Limited, crushing it to kindling and hurling the bodies of the killed and maimed on both sides of the right of way.
The New York Central locomotive after striking the other train, which is said to have been traveling at a 60 mile-an-hour clip, left the rails and toppled over. The fireman was scalded to death and the engineer died soon after being taken from the wrecked and burning cab of his engine.
A majority of the victims were residents of Michigan City. Porter has no physician and but four residents. Those available rushed to the scene with axes, picks and shovels and started preliminary rescue work, together with passengers from the two trains who escaped injury.
Continued on page 2