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New York, NY Fatal Subway Fire, May 1907


Workman Run Down in Smoke After Slight Train Blaze.

A fuse blew out under the first car of a south-bound Lenox Avenue Subway train yesterday morning at 2:30 o'clock and the insulation and woodwork under the car caught fire. The train came to a halt between the 125th Street and 116th Street stations. The section of the tunnel from 125th to 96th Street was filled with smoke.

C. Molino, a track walker of 89 Colgate Street, Jersey City, was killed by a north-bound train on the south-bound track about 3 o'clock. It is thought that because of the smoke either he did not see the train or that the motorman could not see him. Joseph Meyer, the motorman, was arrested. He was held in $5,000 bail by Coroner Harburger to await the inquest.

The fire under the train did not amount to much. The train was quickly stopped by the emergency brakes. The blazing part of the train was sprayed with hand extinguishers. The power was turned off from the entire line and thus early morning traffic was blocked about thirty minutes. The burning woodwork was chopped away with axes. As soon as the fire was extinguished the disabled train was pushed down to Ninety-sixth Street by the train behind it. There the few passengers got off.

On account of the water leak in the Subway near 116th Street only one of the tracks is used after midnight, the other being left free for the operations of the workmen who are trying to stop the leak. Both uptown and downtown trains use the south-bound track. It was a delayed train on that track that killed Milion just about where the Lenox Avenue train had been on fire a few minutes before.

The New York Times, New York, NY 16 May 1907

article | by Dr. Radut