Kouts Station IN, Trains Collide In Indiana, Oct 1887



A Heavy Loaded Freight Crushes Into a Belated Passenger -- Passengers Pinned Under the Debris and Burned Alive. The List of the Dead and Injured.

Kouts, Ind., Oct. 12 -- Erie express No. 12 pulled out of the Polk street depot on the Chicago & Atlantic road at 7:45 o'clock Monday evening. Conductor PARKS was in charge, and Engineer CONNOR and Fireman WILLETTS were on the locomotive. The train was made up of two Pullman sleepers, a day coach, a fruit car and a baggage car. The night was dark and misty and the rails were slippery. The train had been out of Chicago but a few moments when Engineer CONNOR discovered that his engine had broken her eccentric strap. As this mishap is of frequent occurrence CONNOR continued on his trip by working one side of his locomotive.
The mishap lessened the speed of the train to such an extent that when it swept by Boone Grove, a dismal prairie station, five miles west of this place, it ws two hours late. While the crippled passenger train was running through this bleak strip of country a heavy refrigerator train, with tons of fresh meat packed in its long line of cars, was thundering along at a great speed a few miles behind. JOHN DORSEY was the engineer of the freight engine, and it is said had orders to look out for the passenger train.
After passing Boone Groove, Engineer CONNOR stopped his train at a water tank two and a half miles west of this village, or midway between here and Boone Grove. As sooon as he had leaped from his engine he threw up the distant semaphore lamp, nearly half a mile in his rear. This was to warn the freight that the express train had stopped for water. He had not been at the tank more than two minutes when he heard the freight thundering behind.
The grade at this point is very steep, and with slippery rails, a heavy train runs at a furious rate. It was too late to warn the train which was running at a tremendous speed. Engineer DORSEY had failed to see the big red semaphore light and his locomotive tore through the fog and mist until it crashed into the rear Pullman coach. Before the collision occurred DORSEY and his fireman saw the lamps burning on the doomed express train, but it was too late to avert the disaster. The two men leaped from their cab and then the crash came.
The engine of the freight plunged so far into the rear Pullman that its upper works dropped off in the center of the coach. The concussion drove the second heavy sleeper into the day coach which was reduced to splinters. The platforms of every car were torn away and thus wrecked. The ends of each coach were broken like egg shells. The cars of the freight train were hurled in every direction. The upper works of the engine were torn away, the tender thrown across the track, and piled up for twenty rods about the prairie were hundreds of pounds of meat.

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