Guyandotte, WV Train Plunges Through Bridge, Jan 1913
SEVEN DIE WHEN TRAIN PLUNGES THROUGH BRIDGE.
OTHERS BELIEVED TO HAVE PERISHED IN COLLAPSE OF WEAKENED STRUCTURE.
IRON WORKERS CAUGHT BY WRECKAGE AS CARS FALL.
DOZEN MEN REPAIRING C. & O. SPAN IN WEST VIRGINIA INJURED IN ODD ACCIDENT.
Huntington, W. Va., Jan. 1. -- Seven men are known to have been killed and the lives of several others are believed to have been lost today, when a west-bound Chesapeake & Ohio Railroad freight train crashed through a weakened bridge across Guyandotte River at Guyandotte, a suburb near this city. The known dead are:
F. E. WEBER, engineer, Russell, Ky.
HENRY WHITE, bridge watchman, Huntington, W. Va.
CHARLES MADDIE, bridgeworker, Talcott, W. Va.
JAMES C. CRAWFORD, bridgeworker, St. Albans, W. Va.
EMMETT GOOD, bridgeworker, Talcott, W. Va.
CHARLES COYNER, bridgeworker, Teays, W. Va.
L. S. WHEELER, Huntington, W. Va.
A dozen or more men were injured.
The accident was spectacular. A crew of thirty or more iron workers was employed installing a double track system across the bridge when the freight train approached. A few left their posts, it is said, believing the bridge unsafe.
Carried Down With Bridge.
When near the center of the structure there was a crash and the bridge crumbled. The heavy train shot into the water and the bridge debris covered the train wreckage.
Members of the train crew and iron workers not caught beneath the wreckage struggled through the water to shore. Some of the injured were aided by others who escaped unhurt.
Efforts are being made to determine the exact number of men who comprised the train and iron workers' crews. No attempt has been made tonight to recover the bodies of the victims.
Believed Bridge Safe.
The cause of the accident is believed to be the result of the water undermining the piling that had been put in at low water stage. A heavy rise in the river had caused considerable loss within the last few days, but the railroad officials felt confident that the bridge was entirely safe.
A passenger train had passed over the bridge just a few moments before the freight train crashed through.
The bridge is a total loss. The engine, one of the largest type, probably will have to be removed from the water before progress can be made in recoveing the bodies.
A rigid investigation is under way both by the civil authorities and officials of the Chesapeake & Ohio Railroad.
The Indianapolis Star Indiana 1913-01-02
Researched and Transcribed by Stu Beitler. Thank you, Stu!