Barnwell, SC Fast Train Jumps Rails, Apr 1911
LEFT THE RAIL.
SOUTHERN RAILWAY'S FAST TRAIN WRECKED NEAR BARNWELL.
SAVED BY STEEL CARS.
LUCKILY NO ONE WAS SERIOUSLY HURT - CAUSE OF THE ACCIDENT NOT DETERMINED YET - THE WRECKAGE WAS SOON CLEARED AND REGULAR TRAFFIC RESUMED.
Steel framed cars saved the lives of more than a score of passengers Thursday, when train No. 31, the Southern Railway's "Southeastern Limited," left the track four miles south of Barnwell, says Joe Sparks in the Columbia State. The train was running over 45 miles an hour. The officials failed to determine the cause of the accident.
There were 43 passengers on the train, but none were seriously injured. The passengers were slightly jarred. The train was in charge of Conductor J. W. Blanton of Charlotte. All of the seven cars were thrown from the track except the two Pullmans. Not one of the train crew was injured. The wreck occurred at 10:10 o'clock Thursday morning, and the track was cleared at 8:45 o'clock the same night.
The following is a list of those injured as announced by the officials of the road:
MRS. ALICE HARD, Allendale, hip sprained.
MRS. ETTA G. HAHN, Chattanooga, nervous shock.
M. S. IVERMAN, Cleveland, Ohio, bruised about forehead and leg.
C. C. FERRIS, Winston-Salem, N.C., knee sprained.
Employees injured include the following:
J. E. BUSTER, express messenger, ankle sprained.
N. H. BULLOCK, special agent, left hip bruised.
B. A. OVERSTREET, mail clerk, right hand cut.
J. P. THOMPSON, mail clerk, right arm sprained.
SAM MILLEN, colored, porter, bruised.
"No one can tell what caused the wreck, and it is very probable that the cause will never be known," said Henry Williams, the veteran railroad man and superintendent of the Columbia Division of the Southern Railway, who personally looked after clearing away the wreckage. Various theories as to the probable cause of the accident were advanced.
John G. Richards, Jr., a member of the railroad commission, inspected the wreck. He failed to find the cause, and said that it was a wonder that all on the train had not been killed. The general conclusion is that the wreck was caused by a decayed cross-tie, a broken flange or a broken rail. There was no testimony to support any of these theories.
Train No. 31 is the Southern Railway's fast flyer from New York to the Florida winter resorts. The train was composed of two Pullman cars, a dining car, passenger car, combination car and a mail and an express car. The engine was No. 1913. The engineer was D. G. McAllister of Columbia, considered one of the best men in the service of the company.
All who witnessed the tumbled heap of wreckage along the track for over 500 feet wondered how it was possible that no one was killed or even seriously injured. Engineer McAllister said that he was running about 45 miles an hour. He heard a grinding noise. Turning in his seat he saw the front wheel of the tender leave the track.
The engine itself tore loose from the train and was brought to a stop several hundred yards away. Seeing that the tender had jumped the track, the engineer applied the emergency brake. This brake is almost instantaneous on the new type of locomotives used between Columbia and points South.
The mail car, just behind the tender, gave a sudden lurch forward and landed 75 feet away from the track in a cotton patch. The coach fell on its side.
The Times And Democrat Orangeburg South Carolina 1911-04-15