Jersey City, NJ Subway Train Accident, Apr 1942
SUBWAY TRAIN JUMPS TRACK; 5 ARE KILLED.
Jersey City, N. J. (UP) -- The motorman of the subway train which jumped the tracks while entering a station at high speed Sunday night, killing five persons and injuring 263, was arrested Monday and charged with manslaughter.
Most of the injured had been trampled and kicked in the panic which is the almost inevitable aftermath of subway accidents. The lights went out, electrical connections, having been short circuited, sent out clouds of acrid smoke, and in an instant men and women locked in the cars were screaming and shouting and ramming their hands and feet through the windows, seeking escape from the car and from the smoke-filled tunnel to the air of the street above.
The charge against Motorman LOUIS AUSTIN VIERBUCKEN, 48, appeared to be a formality. Authorities said there was no evidence of negligence. He was questioned for hours while workmen cleared the debris, blocking the main line of the Hudson and Manhattan Railway company, which runs through a tube under the Hudson River, from Manhattan Borough, New York City, to Hoboken, New Jersey and Newark, N. J., and is part of the rapid transit system serving the Greater New York area.
The six-car train was bound from Newark to Manhattan. Approaching the Exchange Place station here. Motorman VIERBUCKEN increased his speed to carry the train over switch points and circuit breakers. The fourth car left the tracks, climbed the three foot platform, shearing off its wheels and coming to a stop upright. The front three cars broke loose and were stopped by their air brakes, applied when the air line was broken, at the end of the station. The last two cars left the tracks but remained upright.
The wheels of the derailed cars cut the cables feeding the power rail and the electric circuits illuminating the station which is 80 feet beneath the street. Fortunately the lights on the stairways stayed on, and they guided the bleeding men, women and children who had forced themselves through the broken windows, to the street. Their faces were blackened by the thick smoke from burning rubber.
Those killed were:
MRS. ANNA STEPHEN, 36, of New York.
MORRIS HUTTLER, 36, Newark and Providence, R. I.
RUBE GREENBERG, 30, New York.
CHRISTENSEN TIMPE, 52, Jersey City.
and an unidentified Negro.
Mason City Globe-Gazette Iowa 1942-04-27