Mt. Washington, NH Cog Railway Accident, Sep 1967
8 PERSONS KILLED IN N.H. COG RAILWAY CRASH.
74 OTHERS ARE HURT WHEN TRAIN PLUNGES INTO GORGE; GOV. KING ORDERS IMMEDIATE INVESTIGATION OF DISASTER.
Mt. Washington, N.H. (AP) -- A mountain-climbing
rail excursion car jammed with Sunday sightseers
lost its engine while backing down the historic cog track on 6,288-foot Mt. Washington and leaped into a gorge, killing eight persons and injuring at least 74.
Gov. John W. King, who rushed to the scene, ordered an immediate investigation by state Public Utilities Commission officials. The 98-year-old railroad, a popular tourist attraction on this scenic centerpiece in the White Mountain Presidential range, spans 3 1/2 miles - 3 miles on trestle.
State Police identified the victims as:
BEVERLY RICHMOND, 15, Putnam, Conn.
ERIC DAVIES, 7, Hampton, N.H.
MARY FRANK, 38, Warren, Mich.
KENT WOODWORTH, 9, New London, N.H.
SHIRLEY ZORZY, 22, Lynn, Mass.
CHARLES USHER, 55, Dover, N.H.
A 2-year-old child identified only as the "GROSS child of Brookline, Mass."
An unidentified female was the eighth victim.
At Mary Hitchcock Hospital in Hanover, CHARLES GROSS, 31; his wife GABY, 34, and their 3-year-old daughter MELANIE, of Brookline, Mass., were undergoing treatment today. Their relationship to the dead GROSS child was not determined immediately.
Three passengers on the ill-fated car were in critical condition at the Hanover hospital. They were RICHARD LESLIE, 49, of Madison, Ohio, a skull fracture and other injuries; NORRIS BLACKBURN, 68, of Memphis, Tenn., spine and other injuries, and MRS. MARIE BUXTON, 49, of Clifton, N.J., back injury.
Most of the injured were taken first to the Littleton Hospital, where doctors put a disaster plan into operation and called all available help. Some 25 doctors and about 40 nurses worked through the night.
The injured were rushed over twisting back mountain roads to the hospitals in northern New Hampshire and Vermont.
Teams of rescue workers needed some four hours to bring the injured and the dead to a base station.
It was not immediately determined how many were in the excursion car when it broke free and rolled down 500 feet before soaring from the cog track and crashing.
The accident happened about one-third of the way down the 3 1/2 miles of track along the west side of the 6,288-foot mountain in the center of the Presidential Range of the White Mountains.
The descent is usually made at four miles an hour with the locomotive in front of the one passenger car backing down.
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