Kelso, WA Cowlitz River Bridge Collapse, Jan 1923
BRIDGE WITH MORE ThHAN 100 PERSONS ON IT COLLAPSES, FEARED MANY ARE DEAD.
KELSO, WASH., SCENE OF BRIDGE HORROR, SCORE OR MORE PEOPLE LOST.
CROWD GATHERS TO WATCH A JAM OF LOGS
CONGESTION CAUSES CABLE TO GIVE WAY AND PEOPLE ARE PRECIPITATED INTO THE RIVER.
NUMBER OF INJURED ARE RESCUED.
Kelso, Wash., Jan. 3 -- A suspension bridge spanning the Cowlitz river here collapsed tonight beneath the weight of a traffic jam caused by a stalled automobile. Upwards of 100 persons, according to best estimates, were precipitated into the flooded and rushing river.
At a late hour no bodies had been recovered, but from 20 to 30 people were said to be missing and nearly as many injured had been rescued from the wreckage. Rescue work was being hampered by darkness. A transformer in the electric plant had blown out and there were no electric lights.
The collapsed span was supported by cables. A supporting pier of one of these buckled under the weight of traffic. A new bridge to replace it and only a short distance away was nearing completion, but had not been opened.
The Cowlitz river is a narrow stream and at times of high water is very swift. Recent heavy rains have flooded the river.
Two piers of heavy piling provided the foundations for the structure, which was of a bascule suspension type, this construction being necessary because of the fact that the Cowlitz is a navigable waterway. The two lift portions of the bridge meeting at the center were suspended by steel cables from two high wooden towers. With the exception of the steel cables the entire bridge was of wood.
Among the missing are:
ALONZO G. HUNTINGTON, age 57, Kelso.
MRS. MARIA FLORENCE HUNTINGTON, age 55, Kelso.
LLOYD G. HUNTINGTON, age 34, Kelso. Their son, proprietor of a stage line to Mount Solo.
BENJAMIN BARR, Woodland, commissioner-elect of Cowlitz Country.
JOHN GODFREY, 22, an employee of the Long-Bell Lumber company, Kelso.
EMIL JOHNSON, age 40, Kelso.
HAROLD MILLARD, Woodland.
EARL PENNEL, Kelso.
W. F. PHILO, Portland, Oregon.
ROBERT TITLAND, Tacoma.
F. M. BEACON, Seattle.
W. V. BUCK, Kalispel, Mont.
RALPH CHAMBERLAIN, Alberta, Canada.
ALAN CHISHOLM, Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, Canada.
JOHN COOPER, DeRidder, Louisiana.
W. P. CROAKE, Tacoma.
LUTHER J. HALL, age 27, Longview.
WILLIAM F. HEARTLEY, age 56, Kelso.
Among those rescued, who are injured and in the hospital, are the following:
GEORGE O. McDONALD, Vancouver, Wash., internal injuries. Died in hospital, age 36.
HARRY KIRK, employee of the Long-Bell Lumber company, crushed shoulder. Died in hospital, age 35, Kelso, Washington.
W. M. SULLIVAN, a Long-Bell employee, broken leg.
CHARLES STROUD, a Long-Bell employee.
T. A. WAKEFIELD, butcher, of Kalama.
WILLIAM HAVEY, oil truck driver, broken leg.
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