Tarrytown, NY Horrible Train Wreck Jan 1882




New York, Jan. 13 - Assemblymen PHEEHY, ROBB and CHAPIN of Brooklyn, Commissioner ULRICH and SPINNEY and LYMAN, correspondents, were enclosed in the telescope, a portion of the roof fell down, enclosing them as in a box, from which there seemed no escape. Axes were brought in speedy use, and inside of the car a hole was cut and through this all were dragged out. GEORGE WM. CURTIS was also rumored at first to have been killed, but at a late hour, it is understood he escaped.
Following is a list of the dead as far as could be learned at 1 a.m.
Senators WEBSTER and WAGNER.
E. L. RAWSON, Hoffman House.
PARK VALENTINE, of Remington, Vt.
MRS. PARK VALENTINE, a woman supposed to be from Philadelphia.
OLIVER B. KELLY, aged 36, of Spring Valley, Pa., fatally injured.
MARY DANIELS, N. Y., badly injured.
The Tribune publishes the following statement of R. R. Stillwell, of Oswego, who was on the Tarrytown train. When we were at Tarrytown, he said, the train from Albany passed us. It was running fast, and there seemed to be a wheel on fire. I spoke to one of the men in the depot, and he said, "Those brakes are down." After leaving Tarrytown we ran along smoothly for some time. The first intimation I had of danger was feeling the air brakes had been suddenly put on. I felt there was something coming and I braced myself against the seat. Then came the crash. Men and women were thrown headlong over the seats, the stove was upset, and so was the water-tank. The excitement was intense for a few minutes. Women screamed and men swore. Two or three men were burned severely, although not dangerously. Some were hurt by glass. Everyone got out of the cars immediately and went forward to the Albany train. There were three passenger coaches in our train, and I was in the second. I suppose a number of men in the first car must have been hurt. As I went forward I saw that the rear palace car, "Idlewild" I think, was badly damaged. The back part was on fire, and it had apparently been completely telescoped by our engine. Every one in the Albany train seemed to be out of it except some in the back of the rear car. In some way, ten or twelve seemed to be held in the back part of the car, which was all in flames. I suppose the shock tore the car all to pieces, and that they were caught in between the broken seats. I could only see one woman at first, and she was lying down with the stove on one leg and arm. Her shrieks were horrible. The conductor on our train, who was the only one around that had his wits about him, immediately broke one of the windows of the car, and two men helped in trying to get her out. None of the other passengers, who were held in the cars, was in such a dangerous place as she was, and the first effort was to get her out. Some wooden bars were handed to the men and they made one great effort to get the woman out. Then the flames swept around them and two men jumped out of the window. Meantime every one in the two trains had gathered around the last cars. The conductor again shouted to the crowd to bring water and some snow balls, and to throw them upon the flames, and every one on the train went at this work and they checked the flames for a time. Meantime the cries of the poor woman under the stove had ceased. Another party of men procured a ladder, and this was put up against the side of the car. While some men were pouring water and snow on the flames others clambered to the windows, but the people were so wedged in between the pieces of seats that they had to be pried out. The first person taken out was the woman first alluded to. She seemed dead. Then with great difficulty two more women and two men were taken out, apparently fatally injured. There were several more in the cars. I did not see how they were got out. While I was walking through the crowd I saw a woman with a baby in her arms. The woman had been badly cut by glass, and blood was dripping over her child. She had been in the forward part of the rear parlor car.
One man standing on the rear of the parlor car saw the Tarrytown train coming, and jumped off just in time to save himself. The accident was due to the carelessness of the man in charge of the Albany train. It had no signal out, and the first intimation our engineer had of the danger was when he saw the lights of the drawing room car about fifty feet in front of him.
The Tribune adds that the coach took fire immediately. The shock of the collision was terrible, in all the cars of Albany train the passengers were thrown from their seats and many injured. From both trains the passengers rushed to the wreck and set to the work of rescue. Water was carried from the Harlem River and from the locomotives and dashed upon the flames, but the fire apparently burned up brighter and stronger. Some of the rescuers were burned about the hands and faces. The cries and groans from the injured were heard on every side. A short time before the disaster occurred Senator WAGNER passed through the car containing the Tammany party and said, laughingly, "Ah, here are all the anti-monopolists." He added, "I am opposed to monopolies myself, for sometimes they smash my cars." The party laughed at this and Senator WAGNER passed into the coach. Senator BROWNING, of the Tammany party, thinks no one was killed in his car, but all were more of less injured by the concussion, flying glass and splinters. Assemblyman SHEEN was badly hurt. Police Commissioner NICHOLS was cut painfully; GEORGE THOMPSON, of St. Louis, a passenger, is all right; Assemblyman ERASTUS BROOKS is unhurt; also Senators JACOBS and JOHN J. KIERNAN, each of whom is spoken of for temporary presiding officer of the senate.