New York, NY Subway Collision, Aug 1938
SUBWAY TRAINS COLLIDE, MANY ARE INJURED.
AT LEAST TWO KILLED IN COLLISION, SCORES RUSHED TO HOSPITALS -- IS AN EXPLOSION.
MOTORMAN HAS TO BE CUT FROM WRECKAGE; PASSENGERS BECOME PANICKY.
New York, Aug. 22. -- (AP) -- At least two persons were reported killed and more than two score others were injured in a rear end collision between two Lexington Avenue subway trains today.
The crews of a dozen ambulances sent to the scene gave first aid treatment to injured passengers on the station platform at Lexington Avenue and 16th Street and then took them to nearby hospitals.
An explosion which followed the crash sent great clouds of black smoke billowing up through sidewalk and vents.
The motorman of a southbound train, SALVATORE COTA, and an unidentified negro passenger were trapped when the first car telescoped the rear of another southbound train standing at the platform.
An ambulance surgeon finally succeeded in freeing the trapped motorman but only after he had amputated his leg, working by the light of acetylene torches and with the aid of Mayor F. H. LaGuardia who arrived shortly after the crash.
Twelve of the injured, including six women and a child were taken to Harlem Hospital. One of them was reported in serious condition.
Most of the seriously injured victims were passengers in the moving train, although a number on the first train were hurt during the confusion which followed when the lights went out after the explosion.
Police reported the crash was caused when WILLIAM CURLEY, motorman of the telescoped train, jammed on his brakes after a passenger got caught in one of the doors just as the train started to pull out of the station. COTA was unable to stop his train in time to prevent the crash.
Frightened passengers were helped from the subway by police. Firemen fought two fires which started after the collision. Smoke rolled through the subway as far south as 110th Street and north almost to 125th Street.
Police reported the quick thinking of MORRIS SCHNEIDER, a liquor salesman, probably saved many persons from injury. He pulled the emergency door lever immediately after the accident preventing greater panic and enabling many passengers to leave the train and reach the street.
DENNIS McKENNA, 30, conductor of the second train, was thrown to the floor and trampled by frenzied passengers in their efforts to escape the smoke-filled train.
The Ada Evening News Oklahoma 1938-08-22