New York, NY Park Place Building Explosion and Fire, part 2

NEW YORK, Aug. 25. -- From midnight until the city awoke to its business life, the scenes witnessed by the watchers at the fatal fire on Park Place proved that the worst fears, as to extent of the awful catastrophe, were to be fully realized. The bodies that were recovered during that time, horrible possibilities that took in the misshapen, shadowy vision of human forms, crushed and jammed, amid the bulk of machinery and weighty timbers, assured the police and firemen that the worst evidence is yet to come. The greater number of the unfortunate victims will be found underneath the debris yet to be removed.
No such mangled remains of humanity have been recovered during the search as the specimens shown during the night. Bodies mutilated beyond all recognition and so fearful to look upon that even firemen turned away, weakened by the sight. The Italians for the first time since they were employed did good work in gathering up the ghastly remains of the victims. Foreman FARLEY, off truck No. 15, had charge of the work last night and although the men had to struggle against great difficulties, remarkable progress was made. This morning 20 bodies had been identified and there are 18 unidentified at the morgue and four bodies were in sight in the ruins, thus making 42 so far revealed.
The body of FREDERICK TRIPP, proprietor of the drug store at 76 Park Place, was found at 9:15 o'clock. It was so badly mangled and burned that it was at first impossible to tell whether it was that of a man or woman. Finally, friends of MR. TRIPP recognized a diamond ring on his finger and a gold watch with the initials of F.W.T. On it that was found beside the body, then taken from the ruins in Park Place. At that hour 32 had been positively identified and one partially.
The body of WM. H. ELLIS, of the firm of Ellis and McDonald, 76 Park Place, was taken out of the ruins at 11 o'clock. It was burned and mangled almost out of all resemblance to humanity and the clothing was also unrecognizable. In a pocket was found a pocket book containing various papers, bearing the name of WILLIAM H. ELLIS, which served to show that the body was his. MR. ELLIS was 49 years old. W. T. McDONALD, MR. ELLIS' partner, is missing and is supposed to be among the dead.
Up to 10:15 o'clock three of the twelve printing presses had been removed; the foreman decided that it was impossible to get the great iron machinery out entire, so he set his men to work to break them up with sledge hammers. This change in the plan will probably result in much quicker work in removing the debris. Still it will take probably 48 hours to reach the cellars and subcellars where it is supposed most of the dead are. At about half past 10 o'clock the workmen removed timbers which disclosed two more bodies, one on the site of No. 60 Park Place, the other at No. 74. The former was believed to be that of a woman. Those could not be taken out on account of the pressure of heavy machinery, without doing violence to the bodies, so that the efforts of the laborers were directed during the remainder of the morning to the task of hauling away the heavy obstructions. At 10:45 o'clock a Derby hat was pulled out from a network of beams. Beneath it two or three bodies were seen. They cannot be reached until the great mass of iron work is removed.
NEW YORK, Aug. 25 – The work placed in the hands of contractors was pushed forward to-night with the results of two bodies having been exhumed at 2 a. m. At 2 o'clock a. m. to-night 52 bodies had been taken from the ruins.

The Aspen Weekly Times Colorado 1891-08-29