Sloans Valley, OH Tunnel Train Wreck, Oct 1890


A Head-End Collision in a Tunnel Near Sloan's Valley, Ohio.

The Cars Catch on Fire and a Number of Persons Are Burned – List of Dead and Wounded

CINCINNATI, O., Oct. 22. -- A collision occurred this morning at 4:40 A. M., on the Cincinnati Southern railway in a tunnel a quarter mile north of Sloan's Valley station between a freight and passenger train. The engines of the two trains dashed into each other in the tunnel, which is a sixth of a mile long, and the cars following jammed into each other in a mass. Then came the added horror of a conflagration.
No description of the scenes have yet been made. Only the bare results have been telegraphed to the officials of the road here. They are that Firemen GOULD and WELCH, Brakeman JOHN E. MONTGOMERY, Express Messenger RUFFNER and a mail agent were killed. There were two mail agents on the train, J. T. GAYLE and C. F. DEEGEN, which of them is killed is not yet known.

The engineers of both trains were badly burned and a baggage-master was also injured. No passengers were killed, and if any were injured the names have not yet been ascertained.

The burning of the train in the tunnel renders it impossible to clear the track as readily as it could be done on open ground, the smoke and heat preventing the men from entering.

The initial cause of the accident was a wreck which occurred last night at Elihu station, two miles below Somerset. The delay to the passenger trains by this wreck caused a mistake of the engineer and conductor of the freight train by which the tunnel collision occurred. Fortunately the passenger train had not entirely gone into the tunnel when the crash came, and so three sleepers which did not leave the track served as a means of escape for the passengers.

These sleepers were detached and drawn away from the burning train, but the baggage and mail cars and two coaches burned at 11 o'clock. The heat and smoke prevented anything being done to clear the tunnel.

The officials have heard of but one passenger injured. The two engineers, TAYLOR and PIMLOTT, are reported not fatally injured.

Later advices show that Mail Agent GAYLE is living, but badly burned. Mail Agent DEEGEN is missing and is supposed to have been burned to death. Both live in this city. DEEGEN leaves a large family.

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