Coles Corner, ME Train And Bridge Fall, Jan 1882


Kennebunk, Me., Jan. 2. -- As the 8:30 train from Boston on the Boston and Maine Railroad, Conductor WEYMOUTH, with two engines, crossed the iron bridge at Coles Corner, Wells(?), the bridge gave way, after the engines, baggage and parlor car had crossed, precipitating the other four cars down an embankment, and they immediately caught fire and were totally destroyed. There were about 100 passengers on board.
A. O KIDDER, of Haverhill and J. H. DOWNS, a tracklayer, were killed.
Conductor WEYMOUTH and JAMES NOLAN, brakeman, were badly wounded, and LELAND and JAMES CANNEY of Pittsfield, were also badly hurt.
Fifteen or twenty passengers were more or less seriously injured. All the mail in the postal car with the exception of a bag of registered letters was burned. The mail agents were burned about the hands and face while endeavoring to save mail matter.
The bridge was or iron, fifty-six feet long, and built in 1872. It was about forty feet above the highway. The real cause of the accident cannot be ascertained. The engineer says he felt the bridge giving away and tried to jump the train across. The cars were almost completely smashed by the first shock, the passengers panic stricken and several trampled upon in the rush for safety. The wounded have all been sent to their homes or to the Maine General Hospital.

Newport Daily News Rhode Island 1882-01-03