Pittsburgh, PA Panhandle Railroad Tunnel Fire, Jun 1901

Pittsburg, June 4. -- A mistake in signals and a broken drawhead caused a sensational fire in Try street tunnel of the Panhandle railroad at midnight and valuable property was destroyed and nine passengers had a race for life to get off the train and tunnel. The yard freight had partly cleared the tunnel within the Carnegie accommodation entered at the exit a drawhead broke on the last car of the freight. A 300 barrel oil tank was in the rear of the freight. Into this the accommodation's engine crashed without warning, setting fire tot he oil. Flames shot up fifty feet, burning ties for a hundred down on the track. Passenger coaches were instantly in flames from the river of burning oil. The passengers, all of whom were men going to work, and were crew ran for their lives out of the rear of the train and back through the tunnel. One C. A. Breese, tower operator, a cripple who uses crutches, was badly bruised, and is now in the hospital.

Accommodation crew claims to have had a white block on entering the tunnel. They said they did not enter until the tunnel was reported from the other end.

The city firemen and railroaders after three hours hard work up out the flames. The remains of the coaches and damaged engine are being removed today.

The Marion Daily Star, Marion, OH 4 Jun 1901

History of Allegheny County, Pennsylvania 1889 Read it online

Memoirs of Allegheny County, Pennsylvania : personal and genealogical, with portraits Read it online

History of Allegheny Co., Pennsylvania 1886 Read it online

Allegheny County : a sesqui-centennial review 1938 Read it online

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