New Castle, IN Tornado, Mar 1917 - Death & Damage Toll
DEATH AND DAMAGE TOLL OF FIERCE MARCH TORNADO.
NEW CASTLE, IND., HARDEST HIT BY FURY OF THE ELEMENTS WHILE ADJACENT TERRITORY SUFFERS FROM THE STORM.
FIFTY OR MORE FATALITIES LIKELY.
OVER A SCORE OF DEAD BODIES RECOVERED AT NEW CASTLE AND MANY MORE PROBABLY BURIED IN THE RUINS OF $1,000,000 LOSS OF PROPERTY.
Indianapolis, March 12. --With 23 known dead in the tornado which swept eastern Indiana yesterday unconfirmed reports from small communities in the sections visited by the storm indicate that the total number of deaths may be above 30. New Castle, Ind., which suffered the most severely, had 19 known dead, 15 persons missing, 12 seriously hurt and more than 100 less dangerously hurt.
Four deaths those of two children and two farm laborers, were caused in Wayne county, near Hagerstown. Reports that three had perished at New Lisbon, Ind., and Mt. Summit, Ind., two at Moreland, Ind., and one at Ashland, Ind., could not be confirmed.
THE BREAKING OF THE SEVERE STORM.
Indianapolis, March 12. -- Between thirty and sixty persons were reported dead today, a score were believed dying and 200 were injured as a result of a tornado which swept the country from New Castle, Ind., to Cincinnati, late yesterday. The property loss was estimated to exceed $1,000,000.
It was believed the death toll would reach fifty when all the ruined buildings have been reached.
New Castle was the hardest hit. Early today telephone messages from there said 22 bodies had been recovered and an unconfirmed report said as many more had been found in the ruins, but had not been taken to the temporary morgues where the identification is being made as rapidly as possible. Three persons were reported dead near Cincinnati, two were reported killed in Hagerstown, Ind., and one at Ashland, Ind. Meagre reports said that the storm had hit New Lisbon, Moreland and Mount Summit and it was reported three persons had been killed at each place.
Militia are being rushed to New Castle where it was said looters are at work in the ruins. Extra policemen, firemen, physicians and nurses from Indianapolis and surrounding towns are being sent to New Castle today.
New Castle, famed for its beautiful roses, was a city of death and ruins today. Dawn found hundreds of searchers combing the debris for the missing. Militiamen from Muncie, Logansport and Crawfordsville were there to take charge of the work of rescue and relieve 200 special deputies of the work of policing the town, made necessary by the discovery of looters posing as rescuers, had seized upon the darkness to ply their ghastly work. Every house standing upright, every church and every school building was in use as a hospital or shelter for the hundreds of homeless, whose misery was added to by biting cold winds.
Throughout the long night the work of rescue had gone on in the midst of darkness lighted only by lanterns and the headlights of automobiles. The plants supplying New Castle with electric light, was demolished by the tornado and the gas had been shut off in the fear that fire would add its horror to the tragedy.