Crush, TX Staged Train Collision, Sep 1896
30,000 PEOPLE WITNESSED THE KATY'S EXHIBITION.
BOTH BOILERS EXPLODED, HURLING A SHOWER OF IRON AND STEEL IN ALL DIRECTIONS.
NINE PEOPLE WERE INJURED.
THEY CROWDED OVER THE DEAD LINE IN THEIR ANXIETY TO GET PLACES OF VANTAGE.
TWO FATALITIES ARE PROBABLE.
A PHOTOGRAPHER STRUCK BY FLYING DEBRIS -- THE CROWDS WERE WELL HANDLED BY THE HANDS.
Dallas, Tex., Sept. 15. -- Thirty thousand people saw the head-on collision at Crush today. It was more than a collision. Both engines were completely telescoped and, in spite of all precaution, both boilers promptly exploded, hurling a shower of iron and steel for several hundred yards around, injuring five persons, two seriously and two perhaps fatally.
The crowd began gathering with the early morning. When The News staff correspondent reached the ground at 10 o'clock there were already 10,000 people on the ground. After that the trains rolled in every five minutes, until 4 o'clock, each one depositing its hundreds of people from all parts of the state. No such crowd has ever been seen in Texas with one exception, and that was Tennessee day at the state fair several years ago. Men, women and children, lawyers, doctors, merchants, farmers, artisans, clerks, representing every class and every grade of society, were scattered around over the hillsides, or clustered around the lunch stands, discussing with eager anticipation the exciting event that they had come so far to see.
General Passenger Agent Crush, on a prancing charger, was the grand marshal of the occasion and divided the crowd so as to throw the women and children in the shade and give the men the hot sun.
All the morning was taken up with the arrival of the special trains. At 3 o'clock in the afternoon one of the collision trains steamed slowly over the course and was greeted with a loud cheer. Then the other came down from its berth on a side track and was also cheered. By this time the crowd had got so excited that they crowded over the dead line and in many instances were as close as ten yards to the track. It was with great difficulty that Grand Marshal Crush, assisted by 200 special constables, could restrain the people and induce them to get to a place of safety. The effort only succeeded when the positive threat was made that if the people did not retire beyond the dead line the collision would never take place.
Four o'clock, the hour scheduled for the collision, came along, but all the specials had not arrived and a postponement of one hour was inevitable. At 5 o'clock the two trains met at the point of collision and were photographed.
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