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Guasti, CA Train Wreck, Apr 1947


Ontario, Calif., April 28 -- (AP) -- Thirty-six persons were injured, three seriously, when the Southern Pacific's New Orleans-bound Argonaut passenger train struck a broken rail at Guasti, four miles east of here, last night.
Only the locomotive, two baggage cars and the last two pullmans of the 18-car train stayed on the track. The others were derailed but remained upright, although several hundred yards of track was torn up.
The side of one coach, the fourth behind the baggage cars, was sheared away by another car but only three passengers were seated on that side of the aisle, railroad men said.
Ambulances took the injured to four nearby hospitals and the uninjured passengers were transferred by bus to Colton and continued their journeys in another train. Eight of the former were released soon after receiving treatment.
M. A. NUGENT, assistant superintendent, who reported a broken rail was responsible for the accident, said the train was on time and running about 60 miles an hour at the time. The wreck occurred on a straight, level stretch of track.
Railroad men said there was no panic among the passengers as the cars bumped over the ties to the noise of torn rails.
"I knew something was going to happen when I felt a jar," said JULES SMITH, pullman porter of 4619 Chestnut St., New Orleans.
"I lay down on the floor and yelled for the passengers to lie down, and then the crash came. No one in my car was badly injured."
MRS. P. W. HANDLEY of San Antonio, Texas, said: "It all happened very suddenly. I was in bed. Everybody took it easy and there was no particular evidence of fright." Her car was one of the pullmans that remained on the rails.
The train left the Los Angeles union station at 8:20 (PST) last night and was wrecked an hour and 25 minutes later.

The Abilene Texas Reporter News 1947-04-28




Ontario, Calif., April 28. -- (UP) -- Nearly two score passengers and railroad personnel were hospitalized today by injuries incurred in derailment of 16 cars of the Southern Pacific's New Orleans bound Argonaut passenger train three miles east of here last night.

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article | by Dr. Radut