New York, NY Darlington Hotel Collapse, Feb 1904


Ten-Story Structure Collapses in New York.

Five Persons Are Killed Outright and Many Are Injured - Several Persons Are Also Said To Be Missing.

New York, March 2. - Five persons are known to have been killed, about a score injured and eight or ten, all of whom are believed to be dead, are missing through the collapse today of the steel skeleton of the Hotel Darlington, a thirteen-story aparemtn (sic) house in course of erection at 57 West Forty-sixth street. The steel frame work had been erected as far as the eleventh floor and the structure was swarming with iron workers, masons and laborers, when the upper floor sagged and collapsed, and the whole structure fell wa sa (sic) crash that was heard for blocks and shook all the buildings in the vicinity.
A portion of the steel frame fell upon the rear of the Hotel Patterson, on West Forty-seventh street, crushing in the wall of the dining room and killing MRS. ELLA LACEY STORRS, the wife of Frank Storrs, a wealthy resident of Rye, as he was sitting at luncheon with the wife of the Rev. Do. Minot Savage, who escaped unhurt.

The other dead so far as known are:
FREDERICK MORRILLS, foreman of the Roebling Construction Company.
FARRELL EAGAN, derrick man.
TWO UNIDENTIFIED MEN, apparently laborers.

The more seriously injured, with one exception, were laborers on the building.

Among those missing is Frank H. Allison, of Allison Realty Company, the builders of the hotel, who is known to have been in the building when it fell. Efforts to recover the bodies of the dead and rescue those imprisoned in the wreck were begun by the firemen immediately after the crash, and the work of searching the ruins will be continued all night. Owing to the enormous mass of metal wreckage, days may elapse before all the bodies are recovered.

The cause for the disaster generally accepted is the overloading of the floors. Foreman James Halpin, in charge of the iron workers, stated that there was a large quantity of cement and other building material on the fifth floor, and that on the ninth floor were eighty-three iron beams, which were to have been used in construction the remaining floors of the building.

Criminal Carelessness.
The criminal carelessness is chargeable to somebody is shown by the fact that the building department had placed repeated "violations" against the building, the last one being filed today at the instance of Inspector Charles French because - the side walls were more than two stories in advance of the front walls, and the floor beams were not properly bolted and tied.
In spite of this and previous warnings those responsible for the construction of the building went ahead regardless of consequences.

Adjoining the collapsed building on the west in the four-story brown stone residence of Harold Brown. Some of the huge iron beams struck the side of the house and stove holes in the wall and roof and dislodged a part of the brown stone front, which was thrown to the street. The occupants escaped uninjured. On the east side is a house occupied by A. Walpole Cargie as a school for boys. The pupils had gone home to luncheon a few minutes before the crash occurred. Some of the beams struck the house, tearing off a portion of the roof and smashing holes in the side walls.

MRS. STORRS, whose husband is in London, England, was sitting at luncheon with Mrs. Savage when the crash came and she and Meier, the waiter, were buried under the debris of the roof and walls. Mrs. Savage barely escaped being struck, but her skirt was pinned to the floor by a mass of fallen bricks.

The Atlanta Constitution, Atlanta, GA 3 Mar 1904



Tremendous Vitality Shown by Victim of Building Crash.

New York, March 4 - After living more than thirty hours under a mass of steel beams and other debris of the collapsed hotel Darlington in West Forty sixth street EDWIN LASK died early today while being carried to Flower hospital in an ambulance This increases the known dead to fifteen.

The findings of a live human being amidst the mass of ironwork and brick mortar shortly after 2 o'clock this morning was perhaps the most sensational thing of the kind in the history of similar disasters in this city. From the hour of the collapse hundreds of men have struggled among the wreckage with derricks to get to the bottom of the pile where more than half a dozen dead fellow workmen were known to lie.

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