Blairsville, IL Bridge Collapses, Oct 1888

A TERRIBLE ACCIDENT.

WHILE REPAIRING A BRIDGE OVER THE BIG MUDDY RIVER, IN ILLINOIS, THE STRUCTURE DROPS INTO THE TORRENT BELOW AND THREE MEN ARE KILLED AND A NUMBER INJURED.

Duquoin, Ill., Oct. 31. -- A report reached this city yesterday afternoon of the sudden collapse of the large Howe truss county bridge, near Blairsville, sixteen miles south of here. The bridge was 170 feet in the clear and forty-eight feet above high water, the one span reaching clear across the Big Muddy river. A gang of men were at work repairing the floor and an order was given one of them to loosen a girder a fraction of an inch. The girder was one of the main supports and one turn of the wrench swung the bridge out of plumb and the vast mass dropped to the water, fifty feet below.

WILLIAM THOMPSON was instantly killed and ten others fatally or seriously wounded.

The injured are:
W. H. McRAY, broken knee.
ARTHUR McRHEA, jaw broken and hurt internally.
JAMES CAMPBELL, left leg broken, one eye knocked out and his head crushed -- he will die.
D. MOFFELD, both arms broken and left side crushed.
JOHN EDMUNDS, back broken and internal injuries -- can not recover.
THOMAS ROBINSON, arm broken and badly mashed.
MILES HARRIS, broken arm.
FRANK LEECH, fingers of one hand cut off.
THEODORE HARRIS, both hips broken.
An unknown man was fatally crushed.

A valuable team of horses were killed. The bridge was built in 1876 and cost $6,500.

The Dunkirk Observer-Journal New York 1888-10-31