Sanford, IN Train Car Explosion, Jan 1907 - Meteor May Have Been the Cause

A Meteor May Have Caused Train Wreck

Believed That Its Sparks Set Off a Car of Powder Which Exploded, Killing Many.

TERRE HAUTE, Ind., Feb. 1.---That a meteor set fire to a car of powder and caused the disaster to the Big Four accommodation train No. 2 at Sanford, Ind., Wednesday night, is the assertion of R. E. Brown of Edgar county, Illinois.

Brown lives on rural route No. 1, out of Paris. He stated today that on the night of the disaster and at the time of the explosion a large meteor passed over his place. It appeared like a great ball of fire, he said, and made a noise like a strong wind. The meteor said Brown, was moving in the direction of Sanford and left a trail of sparks. Almost immediately after its appearance, he said, the explosion of the car of powder occurred.

The crew of the freight train which carried the carload of explosives was examined here today by Coroner Leavitt. The men declared that the explosion came from one car which had been loaded at the Fontanet powder mill.

Their theory was that there had been a leakage of powder which had been ignited by a spark from the passing locomotive. The belief was expressed, however, that some dynamite had been smuggled into the car.

Mrs. W. C. Thompson of Chicago has written to the coroner, saying she believed her husband was on the train and was killed. He was traveling as advance representative of a theatrical company.

The Tucson Citizen, Tucson, AZ 1 Feb 1907