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Chicago, IL Dance Hall Floor Collapse, Mar 1948

ONE KILLED, 100 HURT WHEN FLOOR CAVES IN.

TRAGEDY OCCURS AT ST. PATRICK'S DAY CELEBRATION.

Chicago, March, 18 (AP) - One woman was killed and more than 100 persons were injured last night when a large section of a third-floor dance hall collapsed under the weight of about 500 persons attending a St. Patrick's Day celebration.
Twelve of the 92 persons who were treated at 6 hospitals were reported in serious or critical condition. Several other persons were given first aid treatment at the scene.
The dance and party, attended by men, women and children, was in the top floor of a three-story brick building at 3239 North Clark Street and Belmont Avenue. It was sponsored by the Connaught Men's Social Club.

Mother Killed.
The dead woman, who was removed from under the wreckage three hours after the floor caved in, was identified as MRS. ANN HUNT, 35, mother of four children. Two of her children who were with her at the party and dance were not injured. Her body was identified by her husband, John, 38, an electrician.
Hundreds of the merry-makers were walking off the floor at the end of a dance number when a large section of the floor collapsed. Scores were hurtled headlong to the second floor. As the floor settled, parts of the false roof caved in.
Woman and children screamed as they were pitched down a slide which was formed by a large section in the middle of the floor. Groups of men formed chains and helped scores of persons to climb up the slanting floor. Others tied ropes to chairs and threw them down for those not injured to climb back to the uncollapsed section of the third floor.

Crowd Impeded Rescue Work.
More than 200 policemen, 30 ambulances and six patrol wagons were rushed to the scene. A crowd estimated by police at 10,000 impeded the rescue work and ambulances inched their way to the building to remove the injured to hospitals.
There was no explosion or fire. John B. Jenkins, 55, manager of the building which houses a group of stores and bowling alleys on the first floor and bowling alleys and a pool hall on the second floor, said he was on the dance floor when it collapsed.
"The dancers were jumping around and I felt the floor start to vibrate," he said. "There was no explosion, just a loud crack when the floor gave way."

The Sedalia Democrat Missouri 1948-03-18



article | by Dr. Radut