Tarrytown, NY Explosion and Train Wreck, May 1891
Five minutes after the explosion the smoke cleared away. At least it had all blown out over the river. A few minutes later the workmen who had been cutting stone by the track three-quarters of a mile north came running up. They had recovered from the shock. People from the Tarrytown station came, too, headed by Chief of Police Charles Nossiter. They saw dead or wounded men lying everywhere. Fifty feet south of the spot where the explosion had occurred was a pile of human bodies tangled together, legs and arms and heads sticking out of the pile here and there. Near by was another pile, but not so large as the other. Two bodies floated in the river 100 feet from the shore. The steam escape valve on the top of the engine held one body impaled, the arms and head hanging on one side and the legs on the other. The ground was covered with bits of clothing and pieces of flesh.
Some of the wounded were lying one on top of another, shrieking for mercy and groaning and begging to be put out of their misery. The ground for 200 feet up and down the track was wet with blood. The car had disappeared.
Only a bit of it hung over the stone embankment along the shore. The brake head on which Brakeman CULLEN had been sitting was there and uninjured. It was not even bent, while the heavy steel rails were twisted into indescribable shapes and broken.
The ties for the length of two rails were missing. There was a hole fifteen feet across in the ground where they had been. The engine stood dismantled. A piece of sheet iron was all that was left of the tender. The wheels even had disappeared. One steel axle four inches in diameter, which had been snapped in two, was lying on the ground near the hole.
A piece of wheel was fast to the end of it. The cab of the engine had been torn off and had disappeared entirely. The smoke stack and pilot were gone. About all of the exterior machinery that remained intact was the safety valve with the impaled man.
Two telegraph poles had been knocked over into Hoe's Pond, and the wires dangled in the water. The fence which had separated the company's property from the pond was missing for 200 feet. The river and the pond were full of floating debris.
The Cranbury Press New Jersey 1891-05-22