Lockett, WY Train Wreck, Oct 1923
TRAIN WRECKED AT CASPER, WYO.
BURLINGTON PASSENGER CRASHES THROUGH BRIDGE INTO FLOODED STREAM.
100 PERSONS DROWNED.
BOILING CURRENT COVERS FIVE CARD, HINDERING RESCUE WORK.
Casper, Wyo. -- One hundred persons were drowned when Burlington train No. 30, en route to Denver, crashed through a bridge two miles west of Lockett, Wyo., fifteen miles east of Casper, into the swollen waters of Coal creek. The train left Casper at 8:35 p. m. It was due in Denver at 10 a. m.
Two chair cars, one sleeper, one baggage car and one express car went into the bed of the creek with the engine, according to reports telephoned to the dispatcher's office of the Burlington at Casper by DANIEL J. McQUAID, Denver. MR. McQUAID was one of the first survivors of the wreck to report at an early hour the morning after the wreck. McQUAID, who swam the torrent of Coal creek and walked four miles to a phone located at a camp of the Midwest Oil Company, estimated that only twenty-five passengers of the 125 passengers on the train survived.
A special train carrying all the available doctors and nurses in Casper were rushed to the scene, but Superintendent GRISSINGER of the Burlington division at Casper reported back that Coal creek was a raging torrent and that rescue work was out of the question. The twenty-five estimated surrvivors, according to McQUAID, were the last car of the train, a Pullman which did not leave the track.
When told that a passenger estimated the loss of life at 100 persons, Superintendent GRISSINGER said that it would reach that easily.
The train left Casper at 8:35 o'clock and was slipping along through the night. Storms had swept almost the entire state of Wyoming during the day and it is believed that a cloudburst had struck the little stream caled[sic] Coal Creek, forcing its waters to a flood height, which carried away the railroad bridge.
Without an instant's warning the speeding flyer plunged off into the raging torrent while its muddy waters engulfed the cars, sweeping into eternity the unsuspecting passengers, many of whom already were asleep.
The Denver sleeping car was the last to leave the rails. It tipped off the last link of track and buried its nose into the roof of the chair car just ahead, which already lay submerged.
The Burlington offices gave the names of the crew as follows:
Engineer JACKSON of Casper.
Conductor GUY GOFF of Cheyenne.
Brakeman E. J. KLOVE of Cheyenne.
Flagman HAROLD W. CREWS of Cheyenne.
An official railroad message from the scene of the wreck follows:
"Sleeper standing on one end. Bank caved off and this sleeper fell in stream now covered with water one end of Colorado and Southern chair car above water. Two passengers got out of this car. Coach and smoker, baggage and mail car under water"
"Water running so high and swift unable to work from west bank. Number of people on east side doing all they can to assist. Out of a total of 32 Pullman passengers on No. 30, 28 have been accounted for."
"It is believed that no one escaped from the chair cars or the baggage and express cars or the engine."
Fairplay Flume Colorado 1923-10-05