Brooklyn, NY Brooklyn Bridge Disaster, May 1883
BRIDGE POLICEMAN RICHARDS
stated that he was just above the stairs on the side of the promenade as the crowds were passing in either direction. He was trying to keep them moving, but every now and then a crowd would collect and cause a jam. A woman stumbled at the head of the lower stairway and fell, and another woman who saw her screamed. "I am satisfied," said RICHARDS, "the that woman who screamed did more to create the trouble than anything else. As soon as I saw the woman fall I rushed forward to help her, but as soon as the scream left that woman's lips the rush came, and I was knocked down with the rest. I don't know how I escaped, but as I was falling I knew that the only way in which I could save myself was to gain my feet, and this I did at once. I then got up the woman who had fallen, but in doing so one of my hands was stepped on, and my head was kicked. I tried to keep back the crowd, but it was no use. They came on like so many frightened cattle, and the heaps of people injured kept increasing. There was a number of workmen upon the supports of the bridge painting, and they hurried down and took out sections of the iron railing and thus relieved the crowd somewhat. Then planking was put over the ironwork which shuts off the railroad tracks, and in this was a great many got out. The dead and wounded also were removed to the ambulances this way."
All the injured were taken to the Chambers street Hospital. The Chief of the Second Battalion of the New York Fire Department drove in with his wagon and took quite a number of the wounded to the hospital.
The following persons were killed:
MRS. JERUSHA BAZARIAN, a Turkish woman, aged 35, wife of ZACHARIAH BAZARIAN, of No.302 Plymouth street, Brooklyn, trampled to death in the jam. Her husband, an Armenian, became half crazed on recognizing her among the dead in the Chambers street Hospital, New York, and was seized by a police offices and sent home in a hack. Her son, aged 17, was separated from her in the crowd and went home expecting to find her there.
EDWARD E. COLBURN, aged 13, of No. 187 South Eighth street, E. D., was taken out of the jam crushed to death and carried to the same hospital, where the body was recognized by his grief stricken father.
WILLIAM H. CRAFTS, aged 60, a clerk in the employ of Ridley & Son, started to visit relatives here, and was suffocated to death in the middle of the crowd. He leaves a widow and four adult children.
MAUD CRAWFORD, aged 33, wife of CHARLES CRAWFORD, of Thirty-seventh street, near Broadway, New York, was crossing alone, and was crushed against the railing, then thrown and stamped upon.
SARAH HENNESSEY, married only seven weeks ago to JOHN HENNESSEY, a wire weaver, who is employed at Union avenue and Ainslie street, Brooklyn, and lives at No. 190 Union street. Her maiden name was TIBBS, and she was 22 years old. The husband and wife were together when the panic occurred. An accident had occurred to the husband a week ago, which had injured his left hand. He was holding it up and showing it to his wife when the first disturbance began. They had just reached the steps at the New York anchorage and were coming toward New York. He seized his wife's arm with his uninjured hand to protect her. Just at that moment he received a blow on the side of his face that felled him to the floor and he went rolling to the bottom of the stairs. He was able to extricate himself from the crowd without being crushed. The blow upon his face separated him from his wife. When he had escaped after his fall he could not find her, and learned nothing more of her until he found her dead body at the hospital.
ELIZA KASTEN, aged 69, residence No. 185 Griffith street, Jersey City heights, was accompanied by her husband but being an old and feeble woman became frightened when the first confusion arose. The couple were looking at the boats on the river at the time. When the crowd pressed upon them the husband tried to protect his wife, but she was thrown down and trampled upon, while he was powerless to help her. She was carried out in a dreadfully mangled condition. The husband followed her to the hospital, but she was dead before her body was removed from the ambulance.
Continued on page 4