Atlantic City, NJ Baltic Avenue Casino Floor Collapse, Jul 1895 - Baltimoreans Lucky
Not One of Them Seriously Hurt-Capt. Cassedy’s Heroic Work.
Every train from Atlantic City yesterday brought back to Baltimore members of the local lodge of Elks. The disaster of Wednesday night had cast a deep gloom over the close of their annual meeting, but this was very much lightened by the fact that not one of the party that went to the reunion from Baltimore was among those who were seriously injured, although a dozen or so were bruised and cut. The fact that so few Baltimoreans were in the worst of the accident is explained by the statement that many of them were on a tally-ho party and were not present at the social session at the old casino. The party returned just as the accident occurred.
Among the Baltimoreans who received injuries of one kind or another were the following:
Mrs. Frank P. Nessie, wife of Frank P. Nessie, of 524 West Baltimore street; ankle sprained somewhat and right side of face and body bruised; injuries so slight that she was able to attend a reception given last night by the Baltimore Lodge at the Mansion House, Atlantic City.
Anthony N. Retallata, of 302 East Baltimore Street; head cut.
Henry J. Thurn, of 839 Pennsylvania Avenue; head cut.
John A. Jacobs, of 436 West North Avenue; back sprained.
Gustave Abrams, of 589 West Fayette street; scratched on body and leg hurt.
Michael Kohlerman, of [illegible] North Eutaw street; back injured.
William Barnie, formerly manager of Baltimore Baseball Club, and no manager of the Scranton team; slightly scratched.
Chris Pulmer, police justice of Philadelphia, and formerly a catcher on the Baltimore baseball team; slightly injured.
Of all the stories of narrow escape which were told yesterday, none could have been more peculiarly fortunate than that of a quartette of Baltimoreans, comprising Messrs. August Dannenberg, Daniel A. Kelly, J. Albert Cassedy and Benjamin Goldman. They were just about to enter the hall when the floor gave way.
“Together with two Elks from New York,” said Mr. Dannenberg in narrating the story of his escape last night, “we had stopped for a ride or two on the chute, and when we arrived at the building Brother Armstrong, the first speaker, was just finishing his remarks. A broad stairway led from the lower floor, which was open and comparatively empty, to the upper floor, where most of the crowd was assembled. We had started up the stairs, with Mr. Kelly in the lead, when out way was blocked for an instant by some men who were carrying refreshments up into the hall. That instant probably saved all out lives, for just then we heard a crash, and from where we were standing at the foot of the stairs, we could see the ceiling of the lower floor sink down into a V shape upon the floor beneath. The scene that followed I cannot attempt to describe. Hundreds of persons slid down the sides of this funnel and were piled into a terrible mass upon the floor. Hundreds of others, who had luckily been seated upon the portions of the floor that had not given away came tearing madly down the steps upon us and carried us out into the open air. On every side were screams and heart-rending cries; husbands calling for their wives children looking for their parents and parents agonized by the absence of their children.
“in a few moments those who had saved themselves by the stairs realized the terrible position of those in the ruin, and many of them started back to rescue whom they could. Captain Cassedy behaved like a hero from start to finish. When the crowd was pushing wildly to escape down the stairs he called to them lest their conduct would result in still more terrible accidents, and he was one of the first to begin pulling persons out of the ruins. He worked like a beaver for more than two hours and probably rescued more than a score of persons. Among them was Frederick Claproth, the musician, whose injuries are said to be the most serious of all. After all the people had been taken out Captain Cassedy went around among the ruins and secured several handfuls of jewelry, watches, pocket-books and other valuables which he turned over this morning to the police of Atlantic City. Captain Cassedy was formerly captain of No. 1 truck company of Baltimore.
Sun, Baltimore, MD 12 Jul 1895