Windom, MN Train Collision, Sep 1899
A FRIGHTFUL WRECK.
COLLISION OF HEAVY FREIGHTS AT WINDOM, MINN.
DISASTER OCCURS ON A BRIDGE OVER DES MOINES RIVER WHICH FALLS -- FIRE ADDS TO THE HORROR -- SIX PERSONS KILLED AND THREE INJURED.
Disaster on a Bridge.
A terrific rear end collision of a double-header freight train and another freight train being pushed by a monster standard engine took place Sept. 21 on the Chicago, St. Paul, Minneapolis and Omaha's bridge across the Des Moines River in the outskirts of Windom, Minn. The three engines crashed through the bridge carrying down the caboose of the head train and pulling twenty cars of merchandise into the river. The mass caught fire and the flames added horror to the wreck.
The dead are:
CARL RASMUSSEN, engineer, Sioux City.
T. L. ROBERTS, fireman, Sioux City.
JOHN ROBERTS, grocer, St. James.
Fireman STRATTON, second train, St. Paul.
Brakeman, head train, St. James.
CHARLES P. YEOMANS, engineer, Sioux City, scalp wound, not serious.
GEORGE MERRILL, fireman, Sioux City, leg cut, body bruised.
FRANK FEW, engineer, St. Paul, leg broken, internal injuries.
The body of Fireman ROBERTS, horribly mangled, was pulled from his burning locomotive. STRATTON was fatally crushed, and when extricated from the debris moaned piteously. He lingered unconscious until 6 o'clock in the morning, when he died.
The bodies of the dead, which were recovered from the wreck, were taken to an undertaker's place at Windom.
The Des Moines River at the point of the wreck is in a valley, the slopes of which rise on either side for a distance of four or five miles. The bridge is at the bottom of wither grade, and on the south there is a sharp curve at the end of the bridge which obscures the vision of an approaching engine at a distance as short as one train length. Both trains in this wreck were specials. The head train of which YEOMANS was the engineer, had forty loaded and had been lying on a sidetrack on the north side of the bridge for more than an hour. The conductor received his clearance and started to pull out for the north. The train was so heavy that his engine, another of the famous "hog" pattern, could not budge the train, and a second engine was ordered out to push. This engine was placed at the rear of the caboose.
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