Kansas City, MO Pier Collapses, July 1935
CRASH AT PARK NEAR KANSAS CITY.
60 HURT AS PIER COLLAPSES AT WINNWOOD BEACH; SIDE SHOW SNAKES INTO CROWD.
PANIC FOLLOWS, MANY TRAMPLED.
VOLUNTEERS WITH ROPES, 'HUMAN CHAINS' USED TO PULL VICTIMS FROM MUD.
Kansas City, July 5. AP -- Dropped 18 feet into the mud at Winnwood Beach, approximately 50 persons were injured, none seriously, when a section of an amusement pier collapsed last night.
Panic caused by release of a box full of snakes being exhibited on the pier accounted for injury of several persons trampled in the scramble to safety, police said after a check of injured in the various city hospitals.
One victim, eight-year-old ROBERT LOUDERMILK, was treated for snake bite.
Ambulances called to the park were delayed by heavy holiday traffic on the highways and it was several hours after the collapse before all victims had been treated and accounted for.
C. H. Winger president of the Winnwood Operating Company, attributed the collapse to the settling of two cement foundation piers into the mud beneath the walk, throwing a strain upon the crowded platform and causing it to buckle.
Not all of the snakes were recovered. Police said they were unable to learn whether their fangs had been removed or whether they were actually "poisonous" as advertised. Park show people told officers that dangerous snakes are seldom exhibited.
MRS. PHYLLIS CRANE, dime museum ticket taker, said she "thought the world was coming to an end" when the pier collapsed.
"The boardwalk parted suddenly and we slid down the sides," she said describing the fall.
"The drop wasn't straight down so I used my hands to check the slide." She exhibited badly blistered hands from clutching at the sloping floor.
"When the fall was over and cries were beginning to subside, someone warned that the reptiles had fallen also. Some of us were trying to find our personal belongings and to help each other but when the warning came, those of us who were able ran to safety."
C. H. BRAINERD was one on whom the screaming, struggling mass of holiday celebrants fell.
"The floor dropped away and I landed at the bottom of the pile," he related. "Men and women were screaming an struggling to get out of the jam. I tried to get out and was pulled back. Several persons trampled me."
Volunteers with ropes and several groups of men in "human chains" pulled victims from the mud below the boardwalk.
Moberly Monitor-Index Missouri 1935-07-05