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Chicago, IL Coliseum Collapse, Aug 1899

LIVES CRUSHED OUT BY FALLING ARCHES OF A NEW BUILDING.

COLISEUM UNDER CONSTRUCTION AT CHICAGO COLLAPSES UNDER ITS OWN WEIGHT.

NINE WORKINGMEN ARE INSTANTLY KILLED, AND OF THE SERIOUSLY INJURED AT LEAST FOUR HAVE NO CHANCE FOR RECOVERY.

The Dead:
CHARLES WALPOT.
EDWARD MURRAY.
FRANK LOGAN.
STEPHEN J. THOMPSON.
JOHN FARREY.
RICHARD SHERMAN.
THEODORE THORN.
LEROY FENNER, workman from Toledo, Ohio.
A. L. NORMAN, workman from Toledo.
EDWARD SWANSON.
JOSEPH KING.
Fatally Injured:
JOHN MARSHMAN, fractured skull and fractured right leg.
J. J. DOWD, internal injuries, both eyes out, both legs broken.
PETER PELETIER, right arm cut off at shoulder, skull fractured.
JOHN WHITE, skull fractured, internal injuries.
Chicago, Aug. 28. -- Twelve steel arches, each weighing thirty-three tons, which were to have supported the superstructure of the Coliseum building in course of erection on Wabash Avenue, between Fifteenth and Sixteenth Streets, fell to the ground late this afternoon. It is known that nine lives were crushed out. The bodies of two of the men are under the wreckage. Ten are in the hospital with injuries received in the accident and of these four will surely die. One may possibly recover and the balance are for the greater part seriously injured.
The injured not seriously are:
CORNELIUS TOOMEY.
J. H. WARLEY.
JOHN HAWTHORNE.
JOHN J. JOHNSON.
DAVID REARDON.
H. P. ZIMMER.
J. FLACK.
J. HANSON.
ANDREW MORRISON.
All of the twelve arches were standing, the twelfth and last having been completed today. It was the intention of the stell contractors, the Pittsburg Bridge Company of Pittsburg, Pa., to turn over its work tonight to the general contractors. The iron
"traveler," or derrick, which had been used in the erection of the arches had been removed, and the agents of the bridge company were accounting their work as practically completed when suddenly and without the slightest preliminary warning the arch last put in place suddenly fell over against the one next to it. The weight was too much for this and it gave way, crashing against the third, and, one by one, the great steel spans fell over to the south, precisely in the same manner as a number of cards would fall. Nearly all the men who were killed were at work on top of the arches, forty feet above the ground. Some of them made futile attempts to slide down the sides of the arches, but before they could help themselves they were hurled to the ground. Many of them uttered piercing shrieks for aid as they fell. Most of them were killed outright by the awful nature of their injuries. The skulls of the unfortunate men were crushed into shapeless masses, their limbs were cut off as if by a monster knife and they were mangled beyond recognition. The immense structure began falling slowly, each arch being sustained by the crossbeams supporting the rest of the structure. As the mass gained impetus the bars of iron, inches thick, snapped with a loud report, and the great mass moved faster and faster in its descent to the ground. With a crash that was heard blocks distant the structure fell, leaving the walls practically uninjured, and sending up great clouds of dust and dirt.

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article | by Dr. Radut