Atlantic City, NJ Train Wreck, Jul 1896

Parts of human bodies were found scattered over the field and mingled in the debris. These gruesome objects were gathered together in one heap and turned over to the charge of the undertaker.

The clothing, hats, caps, bonnets, gloves, coats, and jackets gathered from the field and wreckage were piled together in a heap. Most of them were either blood stained or soaked in it; many were torn into tatters. The remnants of handkerchiefs and petticoats told an eloquent story of women, who were attracted to the scene of the disaster, parting with their wearing apparel to furnish bandages for the wounded.

Coroner WILLIAM McLAUGHLIN empaneled a jury at 12 o'clock, noon. He stted that up to noon he had accounted for 43 dead, all of whom had been identified except 12.

The injured, as far as can be ascertained, number 43, but these are only the more serious cases. At the city hospital every cot and mattress is pressed into service. It is still crowded with 34 patients, three of whom, it is said, will die. One of these is WILLIAM SPAULDING, union transfer agent of the Reading road. He is suffering great agony. MRS. FAUNCE FRALINGER of Philadelphia is in a precarious condition. She will have to suffer the amputation of a leg, which was broken and crushed. She is a sister-in-law of MANAGER FRALINGER of the academy of music to this city. In the wards of the hospital this morning the scene was shocking beyond description.

A Bridgeton man in the hospital, whose head was smashed, had forgotten his name, but could talk sensibly about the disaster. He said he was in the forward car of the excursion train when the crash came. All were talking and [illegible] over the enjoyable day they had spent at the shore. Without a moment's warning, or any intimation of danger, the crash came. The train came to a sudden halt, and every passenger was thrown from his seat, some being hurled as if from catapults, from one end of the car to the other. In his car half of the passengers were injured.

This morning the dead were all gathered at the old Sea View excursion house, which was turned into a morgue. The bodies were laid about the floor of the big dancing hall of the pavilion in [illegible]. The corpses were all mutilated. There were headless, armless and legless trunks, and in some instances bodies were crushed beyond recognition. There were 37 bodies on view. Moving thro [sic] the [illegible] were streams of people, some curious, but a majority with anxiety pictured on their faces, or weeping, while looking for their loved ones.


EDWARD FARR, the Reading engineer, remained at his post while his engine plowed its way thro [sic] the special train, and was killed outright. His mistake, if he made one, meant his death, [sic] to indicate that FARR disregarded the signal when it was flashed his way.

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1896 Atlantic City NJ Train Wreck

My great-grandparents, Job and Mary (McConnell) KIGER were passengers on this excursion train that crashed. Mary suffered a serious back injury from which she never fully recovered. Job passed away in 1899 supposedly his death was hastened due to crash and worry about his wife's injuries.