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New York, NY Crush and Panic at City Hall Station, Mar 1902

CRUSH AND PANIC AT CITY HALL STATION
Passengers Unable to Get On or Off Third Avenue Road Platform Women and Children Swept Off Their Feet and Clothes of Several Persons Torn Trouble Due to Delay
of Trains

Owing to a twenty-minute block last evening of south-bound trains on the Third Avenue elevated road there was a terrific crush at the City Hall Station. Hundreds of passengers bought tickets and crowded
onto the platform, until it was jammed to such an extent that the ticket sellers stopped selling tickets and the ticket choppers and station guards fastened the chains running across between the ticket boxes and would permit no more passengers on the platform.
Then the jam was so great that scores of those who were already on the platform wanted to get off, and became indignant when not allowed to do so. The trouble was all caused by the opening of the Harlem River Bridge to permit one of the huge caissons for East River Bridge to pass through. This caused a delay of twenty-one minutes to the south-bound
trains.
When finally a train did get into the City Hall station it was packed with passengers. And then the real trouble began. So jammed was the platform that when the train guard threw open the gates there
was but little chance for those in the cars to get off. There was an instantaneous surging forward by those on the platform to board the train; this j am was met by a rush on the part of the arriving passengers, and women and children were swept along in the crush.
One man, with gray hair and beard, and wearing a frock coat and silk hat, was borne down in the crush, and his coat almost torn off him. His hat was knocked
off and trampled upon until it was a shapeless mass. A woman, with a child in her arms was caught in the moving human mass, and her skirt literally torn off her. Several women became semi-hysterical and
cried out that they were being crushed and trampled down. Cries of "I've been robbed!" also were frequently heard while the crush lasted, but up to a late hour last night no reports of pocket-picking had been made to the police, and no arrests had been made.

March 18, 1902 edition of The New York Times



article | by Dr. Radut