Norfolk, VA Train Wreck, Aug 1905


Twelve Bodies Recovered and 75 or 80 Persons Missing in Virginia Wreck.

Norfolk, Va., Aug 18 - So far only twelve known dead have been taken from the wreck of the Atlantic Coast Line railway's Kingston and Greenville, N. C., excursion train which went through an open draw yesterday, though there are some eighty of the colored excursionists yet missing and the probabilities are that the bodies of many of those will be found in the bottom of the river after all dragging has been completed.
A wrecking company raised the two submerged cars but as they did so the ends fell out of the cars and what dead were in the car are now at the bottom of the river with the debris from the interior of the car. The river is now being dragged an it is expected a number of bodies will be recovered soon. The latest victims to be found are an unknown colored man and an unknown colored woman, it having been impossible up to this time to identify either. These bodies were taken from the water this morning.
The only white persons known to be dead up to this time are W. E. JOLLY, the promoter of the excursion and his young nephew, EDWARD FORBES.
There are some fifty-six or sixty of the 169 excursionists who have come to Norfolk either slightly injured or bruised. There are twenty-three injured at the hospitals with twelve known dead which leaves between seventy and eighty of the excursionists yet missing and it is believed that a large majority of these are at the bottom of the river.
The Atlantic Coast Line officials have given out no statement in the mater but CLEVELAND THOMPSON, an eye witness, says that the small "danger" flag which was placed on the track to warn the approaching Kingston train that the draw was open, though formerly a red flag, had faded almost completely white from continuous use during the past five years. It was Engineer S. M. REIG'S first run over the Atlantic Coast Line to Norfolk, he having just come from East Radford, Va., to this line.
It is now stated in Norfolk that the report to the effect that there is a car load of bodies in the river at the scene of the wreck is probably incorrect, thouh[sic] the statement may yet be verified. Direct information on this subject from the scene of the disaster was not obtainable early this afternoon. Correspondents at Portsmouth, Va., who first gave out the news of the finding of the bodies at the bottom of the river, say that the rumor is still in circulation, though they cannot verify it and believe the report is incorrect. The belief still prevails, however, that many bodies are at the bottom of the river and will be recovered before night, there having been no account as yet of the seventy or eighty "unaccounted for" excursionists.
At noon divers went to the bottom of the river at the scene of the wreck and found a car load of dead men, women and children, these being victims in the first car behind the engine, whose bodies went into the river when the end of the car dropped out as it was raised by derricks this morning.

The Fort Wayne Sentinel Indiana 1905-08-18




Norfolk, Va., Aug. 17 - It is reported that twelve were killed in the Atlantic Sea Coast wreck and sixty injured, many fatally. Many others are missing.

Early Story.
Norfolk, Va., Aug. 17 - An excursion train over the Atlantic Coast line railway from Kinston, North Carolina, for Norfolk, this afternoon shot through an open draw near Bruce's Station about seven miles from Portsmouth, Virginia. The train was bringing 500 people from Kinston and intermediate points to Norfolk for a stay of today and tomorrow. A draw over the western branch of the Elizabeth river was open for a tug to pass through, and the excursion train engine and one coach went overboard into twenty-five feet of water. Many people are reported killed and injured, but authentic details are yet missing. A relief train with physicians has left Portsmouth for the scene.

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