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Chester, PA Footbridge Collapses Into River, Sept 1921

Chester PA Third Street Bridge Collapse.jpg

34 PERSONS DROWN AS CROWDED BRIDGE FALLS INTO RIVER.

FOOTPATH OF CHESTER, PA., STRUCTURE GIVES WAY UNDER PRESSURE OF BIG CROWD.

SCORE SAVED FROM STREAM.

MEN, WOMEN AND CHILDREN WERE WATCHING SEARCH FOR DROWNED BOY WHEN CRASH CAME.

MANY BODIES RECOVERED.

POLICE, FIREMEN AND CIVILIANS ARE PRESSED INTO SERVICE IN THE WORK OF RESCUE.

Special to The New York Times.
Chester, Pa., Sept. 10. -- Thirty-four persons are known to have been drowned and more than a score are lying injured in hospitals as the result of the collapse at 7:10 o'clock tonight of the footpath of the Third Street Bridge over the river here.
Gathered on the bridge to watch the recovery of the body of a five-year-old boy who had fallen from the river bank and drowned, sixty men, women and children, some of them infants in arms, were thrown into fifteen feet of water when the old structure broke.
The little boy, APOSTOLUS APUSTALE, aged three, had been playing on the bank when he suddenly slipped and fell into the water among coal and ice barges moored to the shore. There was an immediate alarm, and the police arrived with grappling hooks and rowboats. They were at work in a few minutes.
The Known Dead.
The list of dead, so far as identified, is:
EUGENE McBRIDE, seventy, 428 Beekley Place.
RALPH HARDY, negro, address unknown.
RALPH GORDY, colored, thirty-five, 322 Fulton Street.
MORRIS KNOPF, forty-eight, West Second Street.
ANNA MILLINGER, twenty-five, 222 West Second Street.
JOHN E. BAKER, colored, thirty-two, Garden City, N.Y.
FRED KNIGHT, sixty, 1129 Butler Street.
JOHN GARVEY, Third and Penn Streets.
EDWARD KLINE, Fifth and Penn Streets.
GEORGE HAMILTON, 620 West Second Street.
THOMAS MURRAY, of Penn Street.
RUTH ANNA HAWKINS, aged three, 715 Pennell Street.
ROY SCOTT HAWKINS, JR., aged four, 715 Pennell Street.
MARY BAKIA, aged six years old, 314 West Second Street.
MRS. MAUDE MURTHA, forty-five, 731 West Second Street.
MRS. MAMIE DIETZ, thirty-four, Ashton, Pa.
MRS. MARY E. STRINGFELLOW, fifty-four, 351 Parker Street.
THOMAS MARTIN, thirty-five, 1008 West Fifth Street.
ANTONIO FAIZZIA, thirty-five, 722 West Fifth Street.
DOROTHY WHITTINGTON, 402 West Second Street.
FRANK TERRONI, thirty-four, 840 West Sixth Street.
ANTHONY D'DIPACOLIA, 840 West Sixth Street.
GEORGE SEGRO, thirty-seven, 422 West Third Street.
JESSE W. JACKSON, forty-two, 804 West Second Street.
JOSEPHINE LYSKI, aged twelve, 141 West Third Street.
BEATRICE SAPOVITS, aged fifteen, 22 West Third Street.
PRESTON SEIPLE, thirty-three, 1008 West Fifth Street.
ANDREW DUNLAP, forty-four, 333 Kerlin Street.
ANTONIO FOLINO, thirty-six, 846 West Sixth Street.
APOSTOLUS APUSTALE, aged three, 419 Edgemont Avenue.
The Injured:
MRS. BERTHA HAWKINS, 725 Pennell Street. Her two children were drowned.
MISS MARY MEEHAN, 916 West Third Street.
MRS. ETHEL LEVIN, 1233 West Third Street.
MRS. FLORENCE WHITTINGTON, 402 West Second Street.
MRS. TRAVIS FARRELL, colored, 230 Market Street.
Mothers Rush To Bridge.
Frantic mothers, each thinking it was her boy who had met with death, rushed down to the riverside and out upon the bridge. They were joined by others. The bridge is of wooden construction and is thirty years old.
Out upon it the crowd surged. Suddenly there was a crack as of a large rifle shot. Then there was a pattering, ripping sound, as of machine guns and drums sounding together in one great volume.
In an instant those who has gathered on the bridge were a mass of tangled humanity, fighting for life in the murky waters of the river. Expert swimmers were among them, but they were unable to make a single stroke for themselves or for others.

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article | by Dr. Radut