New Brunswick, NJ Freight Train Collision, Feb 1885

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ROASTED TO DEATH.

EXPLOSION OF AN OIL TANK BY THE COLLISION OF A COUPLE OF FREIGHT TRAINS.

SEVERAL EMPLOYES LITERALLY ROASTED TO DEATH WHILE IN THE DISCHARGE OF THEIR DUTIES.

About 3 o'clock on the morning of the 7th, two freight trains collided on a bridge over the Raritan River in New Brunswick, N.J. The engine of the freight struck the caboose of the extra, telescoped it, and struck an oil tank, of which there were four on the train, and an explosion followed immediately. The burning oil and wrecked cars were thrown over and down from the high bridge into the streets below. The burning oil ran through the gutters and down the streets into the Raritan Canal. This being covered with ice, the oil ran over the ice down the canal to the wall paper manufacturing establishment of Janeway & Co. This was soon totally destroyed. Seven dwellings opposite the immediate vicinity of the collision and just under the long railroad bridge and a building used as a box factory by the Consolidated Fruit Jar Company were destroyed.
Engineer FRENCH and Fireman HARRISON, of the regular freight, jumped from the engine when they saw the inevitable collision, and escaped with a few bruises. The brakeman on the front of the train, FRANK DUMAS, of Kensington, Pa., failed to jump and was carried down with the wreckage into the street below and roasted to death. PATRICK DOUGHERTY, JR., a young mechanic of the city, foolishly entered the burning building of Janeway & Co., and has not been seen since. Two brakemen on the oil train were burned to death.
The loss is estimated at between $300,000 and $1,000,000.
Janeway & Co.'s loss is $175,000; Consolidated
Fruit Jar company's loss, $500,000.
One burned building contained a number of horses, which were all burned to death. The accident was caused by the carelessness of the telegraph operator in not giving the proper signals on the east side of the Raritan. Six hundred men are thrown out of employment temporarily. Janeway & Co. had orders for $150,000 worth of goods for the spring trade.

Sioux County Herald Orange City Iowa 1885-02-12