Mifflinville, PA Bridge Collapse, Dec 1907


Flood at Mifflinville, Pa., Causes Fatal Accident.


Partly Completed Steel Structure Collapses, Throwing Victims Into the Raging Susquehanna - Names of the Lost and Injured.

Bloomsburg, Pa. - High water caused the collapse of a new bridge in course of erection over the west branch of the Susquehanna River at Mifflinville, eight miles north of here, and resulted in the death of seven men and the injury of nearly a score of others, two perhaps fatally. Forty men were at work on the traveler on the middle span of the structure when it collapsed. They were all thrown into the swollen river.
The collapse of the bridge was caused by the rapid rise in the river. The water rose during the day at the rate of a foot an hour and debris carried down the stream by the floods struck the false work of the bridge and caused its collapse.
The accident occurred at nightfall when the men were preparing to abandon their work. As a result the work of rescuing those who were thrown into the water and caught in the mass of twisted iron and steel was 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 ironwork. Many of the men were caught in the rapid water and carried a mile or more down the river before they were rescued. WILLIAM NESBIT was caught in the ironwork and held a prisoner for an hour with his mouth and chin above water before being rescued.
The bridge was being built by the State to replace one carried away in a freshet in 1903. Superintendent Lawton, in charge of the construction, and who was on the bridge when it fell, says that he has not been able to ascertain the cause of the collapse.
The dead are: A. W. FAHS, Selin's Grove; CHARLES CREITZER, Selin's Grove; ADAM NUSS, Selin's Grove; ADAM TRITT, Beaver Valley; IRVIN UPDEGRAFF, Georgetown; MILLARD BOWMAN, Mifflinville; GEORGE B. FEAUX, address unknown.
The most seriously injured are: WILLIAM BOYER, New York, back broken, probably fatal; RAY SHERWOOD, Meshoppen, skull punctured, probably fatal; PERCIVAL REIGHTERBACK, leg broken; HOWARD REIGHTERBACK, leg fractured; WILLIAM MEYER, leg broken; LUTHER ECKERD, shoulder dislocated; CECIL SHARER, shoulder dislocated; NEWTON DALTON, general contusions; HARRY C. GOODLING, right arm broken; JOHN SEESHOLTZ, general contusions; JOHN FISHER, arm broken; WILLIAM WEIKING, general cuts; and JACOB JOHNSON, fractured leg.

The Cranbury Press New Jersey 1907-12-13