Quebec City, QC Bridge Collapse, Aug 1907
SCORES GO TO DEATH IN ST. LAWRENCE.
AN AWFUL DISASTER IN CANADA OVERWHELMS AMERICAN MECHANICS AND WORKMEN.
BRIDGE GOES DOWN WITHOUT WARNING.
SCENE OF CATASTROPHE A FEW MILES BELOW QUEBEC WHERE THE LARGEST CANTILEVER BRIDGE IN THE WORLD SANK IN THE ST. LAWRENCE -- LIST OF VICTIMS SHOWS NEARLY ALL ARE AMERICANS -- GIRDERS SNAP AND HOLD VICTIMS IN DEATH GRIP BENEATH THE WATERS -- THE WHISTLE HAD JUST BLOWN FOR THE MEN TO QUIT WORK WHEN THE BRIDGE COLLAPSED AND DEATH AND RUIN FOLLOWED.
Quebec, Canada, Aug. 30. -- Ninety men plunged to death when the superstructure of what was to have been the greatest cantilever bridge in the world collapsed and sank into the depths of the St. Lawrence river between Sillery and St. Romoals, five miles from Quebec.
All that remains of the grand structure are its huge abutments on the shores and in the river a great mass of tangled, twisted steelwork that pins down the men who had been working on it. The scene is one of utter ruin.
Nearly every man working on the structure was an American, employed by the Phoenix Bridge Building company of Phoenixville, Pa. There was very few Canadians on the structure.
The great structure was about one mile and a half in length, and about half of it, from the south shore to midstream, crumpled up and dropped into the water. Ninety men were at work on this section of the structure, and the whistle had just blown for the men to quit work, when there came a grinding sound from the bridge midstream. The men turned to see what had happened, and an instant leter the cry went up, "The bridge is falling!" The men made a mad rush shoreward, but the distance was too great for them to escape. The fallen section of the bridge dragged others with it, the snapping girders and cables booming like a crash of artillery. Terror lent fleetness to the feet of the frightened workmen as the sped shoreward, but only a few of them reached safety before the last piece of iron work on the south shore was dragged into the river.
Near the shore the wreckage of the bridge did not go below the surface of the water, and eight workmen who remained above water were rescued and taken to the hospital at Levis.
The steamer GLENMONT had just cleared the bridge when the first section fell. The water thrown up by the debris came clear over the bridge of the steamer. The captain at once lowered boats. The small boats plied backward and forward over the sunken wreckage for half an hour, but there was no sign of life. The twisted iron and steel had its victims in a terrible death grip. A few floating timbers and the broken strands of the bridge toward the north shore were the only signs that anything unusual had happened. There was not a ripple on the smooth surface of the St. Lawrence as it swept along toward the gulf. All the men drowned were employes of the Phoenixville Bridge company and subcontractors of Quebec and Montreal.
Read another article about the disaster (below)