Garrison, NY Train Plunges Into River, Oct 1897
A TRAIN'S AWFUL PLUNGE.
A PASSENGER TRAIN THROWN FROM THE TRACKS INTO THE HUDSON RIVER.
TWENTY-EIGHT LIVES LOST.
MANY OF THE PASSENGERS WERE IMPRISONED IN THE COACHES AND WERE DROWNED.
SEVERAL CHINAMEN AMONG THE DEAD.
SURVIVORS CHOP THEIR WAY THROUGH THE ROOFS OF THE CARS -- LIST OF DEAD AND INJURED.
Garrisons, N.Y., Oct. 24. -- From the sleep that means refreshment and rest to the eternal sleep that knows no waking, plunged, in the twinkling of an eye, this morning twenty-eight souls, men, women and children, into the slimy bed of the Hudson River, a train laden with slumbering humanity ploughed, dragging through the waters. There was nothing to prove the cause of the accident. The New York Central train left Buffalo last night and had progressed for nearly nine-tenths of the distance toward its destination. The engineer and his fireman has just noted the gray dawn breaking in the east and the light streak of red, betokening the sun's appearance, when the great engine, a servant of the rails, plunged into the depths of the river. Neither engineer nor fireman will ever tell the story of that terrible moment, for, with his hand upon the throttle, the engineer plunged with his engine into the river bottom, and the fireman, too, was at his post. Behind them came the express car, the combination car and the sleepers, and these piled up on top of the engine. It is known that it was a trifle foggy and the track was not visible, but if there was any break in the lines of steel it must have been of very recent happening, for only an hour before there had passed over it a heavy passenger train. Neither is an explanation ready; all is conjecture. The section of the road was supposed to be the very best on the entire division. There was a great heavy retaining all along the track, and while the tide yesterday was high it seems to have washed underneath the tracks and the heavy wall had given way, and when the great weight of the engine struck the unsupported track it went crashing through the rest of the wall and toppled over into the river. Then there happened what on the railroad at any other time would have caused a disaster, but now proved a blessing. As the train plunged over the embankment the coupling that held the last three of the six sleepers broke and they miraculously remained on the broken track. In that way some sixty lives were saved.
New York, Oct. 24. -- The Buffalo and New York special on the New York Central and Hudson, due to arrive in this city at 7:30 a.m. was thrown from the track into the Hudson River one and a half miles below Garrisons Station. Twenty-eight lives were lost.
The retaining wall along the river had been undermined by high water and the track caved under the weight of the train. The train consisted of the engine, a combination baggage and express car, smoker, two ordinary coaches and four sleepers.
The engine and two forward cars were submerged in fifty feet of water. Engineer FOYLE and Fireman TOMPKINS went down with the engine. All the sleeping car passengers escaped. One man named WILLIAMS, of Buffalo, died after being rescued from the river, his arm having been torn off.
Up to 5:30 ten bodies had been recovered. Seven or eight of the dead were Chinamen, who were in the smoking car. A. G. McKAY, private secretary to General Manager Van Etten, is missing and is said to have been on the train.
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