Missouri City, MO Train Plunges Through Trestle, June 1897
THE TRESTLE GAVE WAY.
FRIGHTFUL WABASH ACCIDENT AT MISSOURI CITY, MO.
ACCIDENT HAPPENED DURING A HEAVY RAINSTORM WHICH HAD SWOLLEN A SMALL STREAM AND WEAKENED THE BRIDGE -- EFFORTS TO FLAG THE TRAIN FAILED ON ACCOUNT OF THE STORM -- DEATH LIST MAY REACH FORTY -- NINE BODIES RECOVERED -- LIST OF THE DEAD.
Kansas City, Mo., June 26 -- The St. Louis express on the Wabash railway which left here at 6:20 this evening plunged through a trestle at Missouri City, Mo., five minutes after 7 o'clock, carrying down the entire train with the exception of the rear car, a Pullman. The gorge which a few hours previously was practically empty had become a raging torrent by the tremendous downpour of rain and the structure weakened. Seven persons are known to be dead and the list may reach twenty-five. There were twenty-five passengers in the chair car and only a few of these have been accounted for. In the intense confusion that ensued, it became impossible to extricate the dead or wounded.
The train known at No. 15, left the city at 6:20 p.m. and was composed of a mail car, baggage, express, smoker, chair, sleeper and two coaches for Excelsior Springs. The train made the run without incident until the bridge about two miles this side of Missouri City was reached. There is is [sic] a wooden trestle on a curve which was built several years ago to avoid using the tunnel formerly used. As the train struck the trestle it swung out of line, being weakened by the tremendous volume of water that was flowing beneath it. The engine passed over safely but the structure went down beneath the mail car and the tender broke loose from the engine, fell off the track on its side. The mail car went down into the water. The express car followed, both falling on their sides, the chair car slipped down into the chasm and as the rear end raised up from the end of the sleeper it went up and stood on end, the lower and grinding and crushing the mail and baggage cars beneath it. The front end of the sleeper was out over the chasm but was held in place by the coupling of two cars behind it. The accident happened during one of the heaviest rain storms ever seen in that country. It was accompanied by a tremendous roll of thunder and most vivid lightning. The elements and the horrible nature of the accident combined to make it one of the most terrifying sights imaginable. Before any one could realize what had happened cries of the injured filled the air. Shrieks, shouts for help came from all sides.
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