Atlantic City, NJ Baltic Avenue Casino Floor Collapse, Jul 1895 - 200 Injured; No One Killed
Elks Were Fortunate.
While Two Hundred Were Injured Not One Was Killed.
Accident At Atlantic City.
A Miracle that There Was Not a Wholesale Slaughter.
Only One of the Injured in Danger of Death-A Rotten Wooden Pillar the Cause of the Catastrophe-Some Curious Incidents-The Collapse as Seen by an Eye Witness-Great Weight of the Crowd-List of the Injured-Some Baltimoreans Slightly Hurt-A Lucky Tally-Ho Party.
Atlantic City, July 11.-The gayety and bustle characteristic of this resort has given way to a degree to a feeling of depression, in consequence of last night’s disaster at Baltic Avenue Casino. It is largely tempered, however, by a devout thankfulness that the catastrophe was no worse, and, indeed, it is considered almost miraculous that hundreds were not killed outright. At the Pacific Avenue Sanitarium, where the most seriously injured are being cared for, it was reported this evening that only one of those patients was in any immediate danger of death. This is Frederick Claproth, the coronetist of Jenning’s Band of Camden. He has been several times reported dead, but is still hovering between life and death, to the wonder of the physicians, who ascribe it to a remarkably strong constitution.
The number of the injured will undoubtedly aggregate close to two hundred, although it is impossible to obtain exact figures, many of the victims having left for their homes, and the others being scattered throughout the city in innumerable hotels.
It has been definitely learned that that accident was caused by a rotten wooden pillar which helped to support the second floor.
Just previous to the crash Jenning’s Band had begun to play for the Elks, and the majority of the people was this attracted to the upper floor. But for this there would have been great loss of life. A party of New York delegates lingered below, but the heard the alarming crackle of the timbers and escaped to the boardwalk outside not a second too soon.
Incidents of a curious character were not lacking even amid the intense excitement, which lasted until the early hours of the morning. One Elk from New York was told that both of his legs were broken, and he immediately asked for a dose of prussic acid, declaring that he not want to live. It was subsequently learned that he was not seriously injured. Another went away in an ambulance with his head badly cut, but he was singing at the top of his voice and declaring that he was unhurt. One little girl was shot through the hole in the floor into the arms of a young man below, and a moment later her mother, who was uninjured, crawled through the hole, seized the little one and made off along the boardwalk, Grand Exalted Ruler Deweiler, who witnessed the collapse from the platform, has not yet recovered from the horror of the sight. He escaped from the building by way of the roof.
A Graphic Description of the terrible accident was given today by David Rankin, a member of the Camden Lodge of Elks, who was an eye-witness to the scene.
“I arrived at the building about 8 o’clock,” said Mr. Rankin, “The room was on the second floor where the social session was to be held was already pretty crowded.
“The people were seated around tables, which were placed at right angles with the stage and parallel with the [illegible] boardwalk.