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Mauch Chunk, PA Train Wreck, Nov 1860



Passenger Car Precipitated into the Lehigh River.

The Conductor and Four Lady Passengers Drowned.

Miraculous Escape of other Passengers.

MAUCH CHUNK, Nov. 29. -- The Beaver Meadow passenger train, which left here at 11:15 this morning, was thrown from the track at Bear creek dam, by the breaking of a rail, and the passenger car, containing some twenty-eight persons, was precipitated into the Lehigh river, a distance of about fifteen feet.

Four of the passengers and the conductor were drowned.

The announcement of the catastrophe caused an intense excitement among the residents of this town, it being thought impossible that any could have escaped. It was certainly a miracle that so many were enabled to extricate themselves from the submerged car.

The following is a list of the passengers drowned:
MRS. FARROW and sister, of Beaver Meadow.
The two MISSES SMITH, of Mauch Chunk.
ROBERT NICHOLS, the conductor.

MR. HUGHES, formerly a State Senator from Schuylkill county, was on the train, and was among the missing, but it has since been ascertained that he saved himself, and immediately started up the road to Weatherly, possibly to procure assistance.

JOHN P. COX, Esq., superintendent of the Lehigh Valley railroad, EGBERT ROCKWELL, Esq., of Easton, and several prominent citizens of this place, were on the train but they saved themselves before the car went over.

Some ten or a dozen of the passengers were saved only through the utmost exertions of the hands on the train, who mounted the car and broke away a portion of the roof before it sunk entirely.

MR. JOHN CRAIG, one of the passengers, broke through the window and escaped that way.

The car sunk in twenty feet of water, The locomotive and tender were not thrown from the track.

The bodies of all the victims of the disaster have been recovered.

Philadelphia Press Pennsylvania 1860-11-30

article | by Dr. Radut