Catawba Junction, SC Train Wreck, Sept 1904
WRECK A TRAIN ON A TRESTLE
PLOTTERS CAUSE DEATH TO FOUR AND INJURIES TO THIRTY-FIVE
CUT THE JOINTS ON A BRIDGE.
SEABOARD AIR LINE RAILROAD THE SCENE OF A FATALITY -- ENGINE AND CABOOSE, FOLLOWING TRAIN, PLOWS INTO DEBRIS.
By The Associated Press
Portsmouth, Va., Sept. 9 -- Evidences of criminal work have been discovered which point to the fact that train No. 41, on the Seaboard Air Line Railroad, which was ditched at a trestle just south of the Catawba River, South Carolina, early today was deliberately wrecked.
The train, consisting of an American car, a mail car, two day coaches and a Pullman sleeper, crashed down an embankment as it cleared the sinking trestle. A light engine and caboose following the train smashed into the debris and plowed through a coach, dealing death to four passengers and injuries to thirty-five others.
George S. Fitzwater, chief detective of the Seaboard Air Line, said today that he had found some spikes and bolts and two angle bars which had been removed from the track with claw bars, and he said he was confident that criminal work had been done. He expressed his belief that some one had disconnected the joints in the lower half of the bridge.
Those killed in the wreck were:
Engineer E. Y. BARKSDALE, Beeville, S. C.
Fireman ED ROBERTS (colored), Atlanta, Ga.
An Unknown Woman.
The injured were:
MRS. JAMES CLAY, Oakland, Tenn., fractured jaw.
T. C. JEROME, Atlanta, Ga., slightly bruised.
MRS. T. C. JEROME, Atlanta, Ga., shoulder and head injured.
DR. EDWARD BANKS, Athens, Ga., back injured.
MRS. SYDNEY HERBERT, Maitland, Fla., foot amputated; may die.
MRS. JEROME SILVEY, Atlanta, Ga., bruised.
G. W. HINSON, Lenox, Ga., jaw injured.
TOM MITCHELL (colored), brakeman, Abbeyville, S. C., head and shoulders injured.
PINK CARPENTER, Monroe, N. C., porter, head and body injured.
The following were slightly hurt:
V. S. LEIBY, Atlanta, Ga., Pullman porter.
J. T. TURNER, Pullman conductor.
G. F. MEARS, Monroe, engineer.
J. G. DUNCAN, Abbeyville, brakeman.
H. H. CHAPMAN, Abbeyville, S. C., conductor.
G. H. DAVIS, Atlanta, Ga., express messenger.
W. FAIRMAN, Atlanta, Ga., mail clerk.
R. T. WEST, Monroe, N.C. conductor.
B. F. MEADER, address unknown.
F. C. TOPLEMAN.
T. C. HORTON.
MR. BLACK, address unknown.
ROBERT ZEIGLER, address unknown.
MOLLIE GRIFFIN, address unknown.
A number of colored laborers were slightly hurt.
A special train with wrecking outfit and doctors was hurried from Monroe to the scene of the wreck and the dead and injured removed to that place.
The wrecked train was running about forty miles an hour when the trestle, which is about 300 feet long, spanning a meadow near the Catawba River, gave way. The engine and some of the cars passed over, but were drawn backward into the abyss and upon the other cars, and then, to add to the disaster, a light engine and a caboose ran on top of the train of wreckage before it could be flagged.
GASTON MEARS, the engineer of the passenger train, escaped with some bruises and a painful scalp wound. He said that he felt the bridge sinking as he passed over it, but the impetus carried the engine and all the cars except the first-class passenger car and the Pullman over and clear. The engine and cars were swerved from their course to the right, however, tearing the rail loose and hurling the entire train upside down over an embankment to the meadow, about thirty feet below.
The accounts of the survivors are horrifying. When the train went crashing over the embankment every light went out, passengers were thrown heads over heels against the sides of the coaches, bleeding and bruised. Some were rendered unconscious.
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