Mifflinville, PA Flood and Bridge Disaster, Dec 1907
WORKING OVER RAGING FLOOD IN THE RIVER
OVER FORTY MEN WERE ON THE STRUCTURE
NORTH BRANCH HIGH AND RISING FAST
The Flood at Wilkes-Barre Reaches a Stage of Sixteen Feet and is Still Rising - Industries Closed and Many Houses Inundated
By Associated Press
Bloomsburg, December 10.- By the collapse of a traveler on a new bridge being erected by the state over the Susquehanna river at Mifflinville, eight miles north of here, tonight seven men were killed and 12 were injured two of them probably fatally. Forty men were at work on the traveler and span when the structure collapsed, and they were thrown into the river swollen by the heavy rains and melting snow.
List of the Victims
The dead are: L. A. FAHS, Selinsgrove; CHARLES CRELTZER, Selinsgrove; ADAM NUSS, Selinsgrove; ADAM TRITT, Beaver Valley; IRVIN UPDEGRAFF, Georgetown; MILLARD BOWMAN, Mifflinville, and GEORGE B. FAUX, address unknown.
The injured: William Boyer, New York, back probably broken; Ray Sterwood, Meshoppin, spine injured and skull punctured; Percival Reighterbach, Mckees Half Falls, leg broken; Howard Reighterbach, McKees Half Falls, leg fractured; William Moyer, Selinsgrove, leg broken; Luther E. Eckerd, Liverpool, shoulder dislocated; Cecil Sharar, Newport, shoulder dislocated; Newton Dalton, Bellefonte, general contusions; Harry C. Goodling, Hopper, right elbow broken; John Seesholtz, Selinsgrove, general contusions; John Fisher, Selinsgrove, arm broken; William Weiking, Snyder county, general contusions and cuts; Jacob Johnson, Bloomsburg, fractured leg.
Caused By the Flood
The collapse of the bridge is supposed to have been caused by the rapid rise in the river. The water rose during the day at a rate of almost one foot and hour and debris carried down the stream by the flood struck the false work of the bridge and caused it to collapse. This theory is supported by the testimony of the workmen who says a large tree trunk struck the false work just before the bridge fell.
The accident occurred just at nightfall when the men were preparing to abandon their work. As a result the works of rescuing those who were thrown into the water and caught in the mass of iron and steel were greatly retarded. The second span of the bridge was being erected and it was this section that fell with the big traveler. The bodies of four of those killed were found floating on the surface of the water entangled in the bent and twisted girders and iron work but the others have not been found.