Mauch Chunk, PA (near) Train Wrecked, Feb 1872


The Scene:
The details of the accident on the Lehigh Valley Railroad, states that the anguish and dismay of the passengers who tumbled down the embankment was fearful. The engineer, fireman, and two or three others came to the rescue of the suffering. The first body drawn out from the forepart of the car, was a colored man whose features were almost destroyed, his face and forehead were terribly crushed.

More Deaths:
A Scranton special states that shortly after the removal of the bodies to the Mansion House, three others died, one being a female school teacher.

The Cause:
The accident was from a broken rail caused by the frost. The engine and the two first passenger cars went over it safely, but the next car broke the coupling and was precipitated down a steep embankment, dragging the next car after it. All the passengers but two were more or less injured.
The Company did everything for the comfort of the passengers after the accident. This is the first instance of life lost on the Lehigh Valley Railroad.
The feet of a colored woman were next discovered extending from beneath the last car which was still burning. In a few seconds the broken, charred timber was removed and the body of a full grown person was exposed. Near this body was that of another colored female, a daughter of the first mentioned, about 13 years of age. In addition to the young girl, the colored woman had also an infant carrying when she entered the train. Search was immediately instituted for it. Around on the opposite side of the car about 8 feet off, the little creature was found with its body curled up, crying out lustily for its dead mother. The child had received no injury of any moment. While several of the crowd were engaged with the child, the dead bodies of two ladies were drawn out, both well dressed and of apparently respectable birth, but greatly disfigured about the head and neck by severe wounds that had caused their death.

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