Laurel Run, PA Train Wreck, Dec 1903 - Disastrous Wreck


CONNELLSVILLE, Pa., Dec. 23.---A disastrous passenger wreck occurred on the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad eight miles west of here to-night and at least forty people were killed. Twenty or thirty are badly hurt.

The wrecked train was known as No.12 east bound, composed of an engine, combination baggage and smoker, two coaches, two Pullmans and a diner.

Official Statement

The official statement of Superintendent W. C. Loree follows:

"No.12 was derailed by running into some switch timber or timbers of about that size, derailing the engine and all cars. All the cars are badly damaged.

"Do not think any of the equipment will be able to go away from the accident on their own wheels except possibly the Pullman cars and the diner. The engine lies across both tracks.

"The baggage car is over the bank. The first coach is partly over the bank. The balance of the train badly twisted. I judge 35 people killed. All the people killed were in the smoker.

"Escaping steam from the engine went into the first coach, scalding the people. Very few of the other passengers were injured.

"The injured have been taken from the wreck and are lying on the bank. Engineer and fireman cannot be found."

The first report of the wreck said it was the Duquesne flyer which was involved, but this train does not leave Pittsburg until after the wreck occurred.

Details are lacking, but it is understood that as the passenger was passing a freight some broken timbers fell from a car directly in front of the passenger, throwing the engine from the track, followed by the balance of the train.

The Philadelphia Inquirer, Philadelphia, PA 24 Dec 1903