Elizabeth, NJ Train Wreck, Apr 1904

MANY HURT IN TRAIN CRASH

Long Branch Express Hits a Florida Bound Flyer.

INJURED GET SLIGHT WOUNDS.

Collision Due to Accident to Air Tube on Southern Train – Express Running Forty Miles an Hour Plowed Its Way Through Rear Coach – One Man Killed Outright.

Elizabeth, N. J. -- In a rear-end collision, which occurred a short distance west of the Pennsylvania Railroad station here, when the Long Branch Express, heavily laden, ran into the rear of the Florida Special, one man was killed and twenty-seven persons were injured. Most of the injured received only slight wounds.

The collision was due to an accident to the Southern train, and could have been avoided, it is asserted, had the engineer of the Long Branch train heeded the signal, which was set for his direction. The Florida Express is composed of eight Pullman coaches. It had not gone far from the station in Jersey City when the air tube connecting the forward coach to the engine parted.

That caused the automatic air brakes to be applied at once to the train. The extra strain on the engine caused by the application of the brakes caused the coupling pin between the tender and the first car to break, and the engine darted ahead, while the cars stopped within a short distance.

The engineer at once applied the brakes to the locomotive, and as soon as he was able started back to pick up his train. He had just reached the coaches and was about to recouple them, when the accident occurred.

The Long Branch Express was making forty miles an hour at the curve when the fireman in the cab saw the stalled train ahead. He shouted to the engineer, who at once applied the brakes, but not soon enough to prevent the collision.

The engine struck the rear Pullman, the England, tearing its way through the coach almost to the forward end. The car was split in half and the parts fell to either side of the track. No one except a porter was in the car when the accident occurred, and though some of the passengers in the forward coaches received a severe shaking up, the injured were on the two forward cars of the Long Branch Express.

Dead: DAVID LETTS, fireman of the Long Branch Express; body taken to the Elizabeth morgue.

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