Coulter, OH Train Wreck, Dec 1946

Coulter, Ohio, Train Wreck 1946



50 Injured In Pileup Of 3 Trains.


MANSFIELD, O., (AP). -- An official of the Pennsylvania Railroad estimated today that at least 15 persons were killed and 50 injured when the railroad's "Golden Triangle" passenger train ploughed into the wreckage of two freight trains early this morning.
Five of the know dead were soldiers and three were trainmen.
Supt. A. O. Fonkalsrub of the Mansfield General Hospital said he was informed there were at least four and possibly more bodies still in the wreckage.
Fonkalsrub, acting under instructions from military authorities, ordered hospital officials not to make public the names of the soldier dead and injured, pending notification of their next of kin.
The rail official, who declined to be identified by name, told newsmen at the wreck scene he felt that was a "conservative estimate" after looking over the wreckage left by the pileup which occurred about 2:45 A. M., near Coulter, 12 miles southeast of here.
The railroad spokesman said the soldiers killed were among an Army movement of about 100 officers and men riding on the first two coaches of the "Golden Triangle." He added that the soldiers were en route from Fort Dix, N. J., to Chicago.
As railroad wrecking crews headed toward the scene from Crestline, Canton, Toledo and Cleveland, O., and Conway, Pa., this was the condition of the passenger train:
Two locomotives overturned; first coach resting on a freight car; second coach derailed and overturned; the next car, a combination baggage car and coach, derailed and leaning; a coach, diner and one sleeper derailed but upright; seven sleepers upright on the tracks.
Traffic was being rerouted over the Pennsylvania line through Columbus and over the Baltimore & Ohio through Willard, O.
Pvt. CHESTER HARP, 17, of Kensha, Wis., who suffered back injuries, said steam rushing into the first coach back of the engine was "a most terrible thing" and burned many of the 75 soldiers in the car.
The soldiers were receiving 12-day furloughs before departing for Japan.
Two coaches of the passenger train carrying soldiers overturned and some of the passengers were trapped in the wreckage. Rescue crews with blow torches cut through twisted steel to reach the victims.
"The seats were twisted and turned every which way," Sheriff Frank Robinson of Richland County said of the overturned coaches.
Physicians and nurses from surrounding communities climbed into the wrecked cars to administer aid to the injured.
The scene was one of terrible havoc, Sheriff Robinson reported. "The rails were badly twisted," he added; "cross ties were splintered and torn from the road bed."

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