Peru, IN Bridge Collapses Under Train, Jan 1893

Otis IND train wreck through trestle 5-2-1893.gif



Peru, Ind., Jan. 20. -- One of the most disastrous wrecks ever recorded in the history of the Lake Erie and Western Railroad occurred early this morning at the Wabash River Bridge, south of this city. Train No. 16, the fast north-bound express, struck a broken rail at the southern part of the bridge, derailing the cars. The engine reached the abutment of the second span, when the whole thing collapsed, taking the train down to the bed of the frozen river, thirty feet below. The bridge span of over 100 feet also fell with a crash.
The train immediately took fire and was consumed. One persons was killed instantly, GEORGE C. DORLAND of La Porte, whose back was broken. HENRY GRIFFIN, the engineer, was so badly scalded that he died to-night. Following is the list of the injured:
FRED FORBES, conductor, head, hip, and back injured, dangerously hurt.
RICHARD NEFF, baggage man, back and head injured dangerously.
W. F. BRYAN, of Roanoke, back and head severely cut and bruised.
A. WERTHEIM of Peru, back and hip cut and bruised.
WILLARD FISHER, traveler for a Muncie house, arms and shoulder badly hurt.
MRS. RILLA RABER of Denver, Ind., reported fatally hurt.
FRANK WADE, fireman, badly hurt in arms and shoulders.
There were fourteen passengers, and not one of them escaped injury. That the loss of life was not greater is miraculous.
The loss to the company is fully $25,000. The train was running forty miles an hour when the rail was struck. The engine hangs to the abutment of the second span.
Another serious wreck was averted by the coolness of NEFF, who, despite his injuries, ran back and signaled a freight, which was following, and which was stopped almost at the edge of the bridge.

The New York Times New York 1893-01-21


Died of His Injuries

Died of His Injuries.

FORT WAYNE, Ind., Jan. 21.---Henry Griffin the elevator who was so severely scalded in the Lake Erie and Western wreck at Peru Friday morning, died at 2 o'clock at night after suffering great pain all day. He was a resident of Peru. Of the eleven victims of the accident only two have died. Of the nine now in charge of the surgeons only two are considered in a serious condition.

The Daily Review, Decatur, IL 22 Jan 1893