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Shippensburg, PA Fatal Railroad Accident, Oct 1888

FATAL RAILROAD ACCIDENT.

Chambersburg, Penn., Oct. 18. -- A fatal wreck occurred on the Cumberland Valley Railroad near Shippensburg this morning. Trains No. 14 and No. 9 collided at a sharp curve in the road, telescoping the cars and completely demolishing the engines. The officials of the road here are very reticent in the matter and refuse to state anything of the causes. From the train men the following particulars were learned:
Both trains were late and the conductor of No. 9 coming south received orders at Newville to run to Shippensburg and pass No. 14. The conductor of No. 14 says he received orders at Shippensburg to run to the 38-mile siding between Shippensburg and Newville, and there meet and pass No. 9. Acting on these orders he left Shippensburg, and within three miles met the oncoming train. The engineer of No. 14 saw the smoke of the other train around the curve and shut off steam and applied the air brakes, but before he could stop both trains came together with a crash. The engines interlocked, the boiler of one being driven over five feet into the other. The express cars on both trains were driven back and completely telescoped the baggage cars. Baggage Master CHARLES BITNER of Harrisburg was caught between the cars and so horribly mangled that he died in a short time after being cut out of the wreck. Conductors LINN and BOWMAN are both seriously injured, and many of the passengers received injuries, though not serious. The mail cars caught fire, and much of the mail was destroyed. The track was blocked all day, but passengers have been transferred.

The New York Times New York 1888-10-19

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