New York City, NY Embankment Collapse, June 1889



From a point near Van Nest station, on the Harlem River Branch of the New York, New Haven and Hartford Railroad, a short spur of railroad is being laid to the new racing track of the Jerome Park Association. A little way up the spur track is an embankment over which passes a carriage road. A gang of thirty or forty Italians were digging through the embankment yesterday morning, under the direction of Superintendent SAVAGE, when a portion of the bank caved in.
The men tried to get out, but several of them were entangled in the mass of stones, dirt, and pickaxes. The cars used to remove the soil blocked them in getting away. The frightened men who escaped were called back to the cave-in by the cries of imprisoned comrades, and the work of extricating them was immediately begun.
It was found that four men were badly injured. Two doctors were summoned from Van Nest and West Chester, and an ambulance call was sent out from Van Nest station to the Harlem Hospital, and an ambulance immediately started on the long drive to the scene of the accident. In the meantime two of the injured men, with broken limbs and bruised bodies, were taken to the railroad station and sent down to Harlem on a passenger train. They were GASTRAND DENINZA, sixty years old, of 77 Sullivan Street and GIUSEPPE VIARANTO, thirty-eight years old, of One Hundred and Thirteenth Stret and First Avenue. They were removed to the hospital, where they were doing well last night. They will probably recover.
The two other injured men were cared for by the local physicians till the ambulance arrived. They were NICOLAI GANAGNINE, who lives at 85 Baxter Street, and FRANCISCO DE CARLO, thirty-five years old, of 23 East One Hundred and Fifteenth Street. The latter was badly crushed and died in the ambulance on the way to the hospital. His companion is also dangerously injured and was in a precarious condition last night. DE CARLO was married and had a family.
The Italians at work on the road were greatly excited over the accident, and muttered vengeance upon their employers. The sub-boss, who was in charge of them, is said to have hastened away from the place as fast as possible, fearing that he would receive bodily injury from the infuriated men. The railroad people say that the accident was caused through no negligence of theirs. It will be investigated, however, by a Coroner.

New York Times New York 1889-06-25