Dexter Station, ON Train Wreck, May 1903


Twelve Dead In Canadian Railway Accident.


Train Running at High Speed Derailed----Car Containing Thirty Men Crushed---Fire Breaks Out In the Wreckage.

Port Arthur, Ont., May 8.----One of the worst accidents in the history of railroading in the west has occurred on the main line of the Canadian Pacific railway near Dexter Station, fifty-two miles, east of this place. Twelve men imprisoned in the wreckage of a derailed work train were either killed outright or burned to death. Eight others were frightfully burned, and a number of them will die. The men were asleep when the train left the track.

The train was running at high speed when it was derailed, presumably by the breaking of an axle. Every car left the track and plunged down and embankment into the ditch. The men who were asleep in what is known as the "boarding" car, which was attached to the rear of the train. There were thirty men in the car. It was crushed like an eggshell, killing some of the men outright and pinning others under the wreckage so that they could not extricate themselves. Fire added its horror to the scene, the splintered woodwork of the car being ignited by an overturned stove.

Brave Work of Rescuers.

The men who escaped injury at once set to work to liberate the imprisoned workmen, but they were driven back time and again by the flames, which spread rapidly. It looked for a time as if every man in the wrecked car would perish. One of the imprisoned men succeeded in extricating himself unaided and, smashing a window, crawled out from under the wreckage. He reported that several others, some of them badly injured, were lying near the window. The rescuers went to work with a will and succeeded in getting ten or twelve men through the shattered window.

The flames meanwhile were growing fiercer, and the men were finally driven from the work of rescue by the intense heat.

Wilkes-Barre Times, Wilkes-Barre, PA 8 May 1903