Whitney, NE Train Plunges Through Sagging Bridge, June 1921

5 KILLED IN WRECK DUE TO CLOUDBURST.

SAGGING BRIDGE PLUNGES NORTHWESTERN TRAIN IN HEAP -- RESCUERS SAVE MANY INJURED.

Omaha, Neb., June 16. -- Five persons were killed and thirty-four were injured, eight seriously, when Chicago & Northwestern train No. 606, from Lander, Wyo., to Omaha, was wrecked late last night by the collapse of a bridge over Big Cottonwood Creek, near Whitney, Neb.
The dead are:
FRANK BOSNER, Lander, Wyo.
F. M. STEWART, Gordon, Neb.
R. G. SCOTT, baggageman, Chadron, Neb.
C. M. BUCK, Grand Island, Neb.
B. F. SKILES, mail clerk, of Chandron.
The injured were taken in a special train to a hospital in Hot Springs, S. D., with surgeons from Chadron attending them. Among the more seriously injured were J. N. LESSLEY, Springfield, Mo.; W. GOODELL, of Chadron, an express messenger, and WILLIAM BRYANT of Blair, Neb.
The bodies of the dead were removed to Chadron. The scene of the wreck is in the far northwest corner of Nebraska and wire communication with the rescuing parties was meagre.
Wrecking crews were sent from Casper, Wyo., and Chadron, when the engine crew telephoned the report of the wreck to division headquarters at Chadron from a harmhouse[sic].
The bridge over the creek sagged, they said, just as the engine of the train left it, and three cars, the mail, baggage and smoker were piled up on the creek bank. The bridge was weakened by a cloudburst.
Railroad reports said there was no sign of the cloudburst at 8:30 P. M., when a westbound train crossed the bridge. At 11 o'clock, when No. 606 arrived, the bridge apparently was in good condition, but as the engine neared the east end, the structure sagged.
The locomotive broke loose from the tender and ran 600 feet on the ties. The sleeper was the only car remaining on the track.
Conductor FINNEGAN was among the injured taken to Chadron and the check of the passengers was impeded. The train left Lander, Wyo., yesterday morning and was due in Omaha this morning.

The New York Times New York 1921-06-17