New York, NY Railroad Accident, Apr 1911


Five Others hurt, One Mortally, as Wire Touches Third Rail.


With Blinding Flash Current Brings Tragedy to Crew of New York Central Linemen as They Are Lowering a Pole, Which Falls Prematurely.

New York, April 29.--One man was burned to a crisp, two were hurled ten feet and killed, a fourth was mortally injured and four others badly hurt this afternoon on the New York Central railroad near Spuyten Duyvil, in the upper part of the city, when a falling telegraph pole threw a steel guy wire they grasped across the third rail.

A current of 12,000 volts shot out a blinding flash at the contact and spat and sizzled for five minutes as the men lay stunned.

JOHN TRUMBULL, foreman of the crew of railroad linemen, was standing on a rail and received the full force of the shock. His clothing was burned from his body and his flesh roasted and charred.

JOHN CASEY of Yonkers and DANIEL SULLIVAN of New York had hold of the wire and were thrown to the cinder pathway beside the track, where they died as flames consumed their clothing.

Three fingers were burned from the right hand of James Caffrey, another lineman, whose body was so badly seared that he probably will die. The four other men were scattered and lay stunned.

A volunteer rescue crew caused the shutting off of the current, gave first aid to the injured and screened the bodies of the dead from the view of hundreds attracted to the spot by the flames. The premature loosening of a pole being prepared for lowering by means of the guy wire, caused the accident, according to the survivors.

Syracuse Herald, Syracuse, NY 30 Apr 1911