45 DEAD TAKEN FROM ROCK ISLAND WRECK
MARSHALLTOWN, Iowa, March 21 —
Forty-five persons were killed and almost
as many more injured to-day in the wreck
at Green Mountain of two Rock Island
trains running over the Chicago Great
Western tracks from Marshalltown to
Waterloo. Several of the injured
A little freight wreck on the Rock Island
last night at Shellsburg was the indirect
cause of the Green Mountain disaster.
The Rock Island line was blocked,
and it became necessary to detour over
the Great Western tracks. Two trains
sent from Cedar Rapids to Marshalltown
were coupled together, and the two locomotives
placed in front of them. Both
locomotives were running backward.
The combined train consisted of thirteen
cars. A Pullman was next to the
locomotives. Then came the smoking
car and a day coach, in the latter of
which were many women and children.
The doubled train was going about 25
miles an hour when it reached a cut
five miles from Green Mountain, at the
top of a hill. In this cut the tender of
the front locomotive jumped the track.
This threw the head of the locomotive into the
sides of the narrow cut. The clay of the
sides was soft and the engine went into
it and stopped almost instantly.
The sudden stop ditched the first locomotive
and the momentum of the heavy
train crushed the day coach and the
smoking car against the heavy Pullman.
The smoking car and day coach were
telescoped, and hardly an occupant of
either car escaped death or injury. While
the last ten cars remained on the track,
the shock threw the passengers sprawling
from their seats.
Conductor William Worst dispatched
trainmen back to flag a following train.
Other trainmen were hurried to Gladbrook
and Green Mountain for help.
Removing Dead and Injured
Uninjured passengers began removing
the dead and injured. The dead were
taken to an adjoining pasture and laid
on the grass. A relief train from Marshalltown,
carrying surgeons and Coroner
Jay, arrived two hours after the
crash. By that time, the victims were
laid on the grass In rows. The sight
that met the eyes of the surgeons was
horrible. The dead were crushed and
mutilated - in many cases beyond recognition.
Heads were severed from bodies,
arms and legs were cut off; here, lay
bleeding trunks; there, a head. A second
rescue train relieved the first, which
brought a load of injured to Marshalltown.
Coroner Jay was hastening in a Red
Cross ambulance to the hospital in Marshalltown
when he was thrown to the
pavement as the ambulance rounded a
corner and rendered unconscious. It is
believed that his back is broken and that
he cannot live. The hospital in Marshalltown
was soon filled. Then other buildings
were pressed into service. The removal
of bodies showed that nearly all
the dead were in the day coach and the
smoking car. It is believed that only
two of the dead were in the Pullman.
So complete was the destruction of the
smoking car that not a single upright was
standing. The floor alone remained, as
a mute witness of the frightful impact
of the car ahead. The day coach likewise
was torn almost to splinters. The
baggage car, which was behind the day
coach, was jammed in the front, but was
not torn to pieces.
Before dark, the bodies of all the victims
were removed, either to St. Thomas
Hospital or to morgues.
By morning, it is expected the track will
be cleared and train service may be renewed.
March 22, 1910 edition of "The New York Times"