Corry, PA Circus Tent Collapse, May 1909


Cory [sic], Pa, May 15. -- Many were hurt tonight, but none fatally, when a terrific electrical storm swept this city and blew down the main tent of the Cole Brothers circus. A panic ensued when the tent collapsed and many men, women, and children were caught in the wreckage. Three were taken to the hospitals.

The Durango Democrat, Durango, CO, 16 May 1909



Multitude of People Carried Down at Corry.

Tent Catches Fire. A Panic Ensues an Several are Seriously Injured

Spectators at Cole Brothers' Show Plunged Down When Benches Collapse

Babies and Women Lost in Confusion and List of Casualties May be Very Long

N. Y. Sun-Syracuse Herald - Special

Corry, Pa May 15 -- During the evening performance of the Cole Brothers Railroad Circus in this city to-night a portion of the seats gave way and carried down with it a multitude of shrieking people, many of whom, it is feared have been seriously and perhaps fatally injured. A panic ensued among the performers as well as the spectators and to add to the horror ad confusion of the scene the canvas caught fire from the falling gas lights.

The canvas men worked like Trojans in their efforts to extinguish the flames and finally succeeded in tearing away the burning portion of the tent. Owing to the utter darkness into which the interior of the tent was plunged it is impossible at this time to tell how many or how serious are the casualties.

Three persons taken from the debris are Mrs. Byron Davis struck by a pole seriously injured, Chief of Police Stevens, slightly injured by pole, Thomas Tuttle, city clerk, struck by pole, extent of injuries unknown. Babies and children are lost, women cannot be found and the complete list of victims will not be known before daylight. The damage to the show itself was but slight and the performance in Oil City Monday will be given it is stated.

Syracuse Herald, Syracuse, NY 16 May 1909