Bronx, NY (Clason's Point) Ferris Wheel Tragedy, June 1922

Clasons Point Amusement Park circa 1920.jpg Clasons Point Amusement Park map.jpg

STORM HITS CROWDED FERRIS WHEEL; SIX DEAD, 40 HURT.

New York, June 11. -- The fury of the electrical storm that swept New York late today, destroying life and property, broke suddenly over a little amusement park at Clason's Point, the Bronx, lashed into a ferris wheel crowded with young people, crushed it to the ground, and passed on, leaving six dead and more than 40 injured.
Shrieks of mirth broke forth from the steel cars of the wheel as it carried its cargo of youths high up into the breezes. Then the storm and maddened cries of fear and agony as the upper half broke away and was catapulted into the shallow waters of Long Island Sound. The lower half buckled and fell a twisted mass of steel, wooden girders and human bodies.
A panic ensued among the hundreds of men, women and children at the resort. Women fainted and men fought and children were brushed aside in frantic efforts to reach shelter and to lose sight of the ghastly wreck of the ferris wheel.
Many, however, rushed to the rescue and worked madly to extricate the victims. Efforts were made to telephone for ambulances and physicians, but the storm had broken the wires. Men in commandeered automobiles were sent to nearest hospitals, two miles away, and soon a corps of physicians, surgeons and nurses were at the park. Four ambulances worked in relays removing the injured.
Many of the frail buildings of the concessionaires in the park were blown away or damaged and as the bodies were taken from the wreckage of the wheel they were placed on the bathing pier. After an hour, more than 40 persons had been extricated. Five were dead and a number were said to be dying.
Hysterical men and women ran up and down the rows of Prostrate figures searching for sons or daughters or brothers and sisters they believed had been riding the wheel in the storm.
Members of the crew operating the wheel declared the storm broke so suddenly that it was impossible to remove the passengers. They said about 60 persons were in the cars.
Night fell as a half hundred men were set to work tearing apart the wreckage and the removal of the victims progressed slowly. Hundreds of curious folks stayed to watch this work and 200 policemen were sent to the park to preserve order.
Under one huge piece of steel, lying in a depression in the ground, lay a boy of 14 and his ten-year-old sister. As the steel was removed they stood up, unhurt, and ran to the arms of their sobbing parents.
The dead were taken from the cars that were thrown into the sound.

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