1852 - FEARFUL RAILROAD ACCIDENT - TWO LIVES LOST AND SEVERAL PERSONS INJURED.
Springfield, Saturday, Oct. 30.
We have just learned from a passenger by the express train from New York, that on passing over the Canal bridge at Windsor Locks, one of the rails broke and precipitated the last car, containing about eighteen passengers, into the canal. The three hindmost cars ran off the track when the rail gave way, breaking up their trucks and tearing up the track in great style. The last car ran into the canal, in about twelve feet of water, and was broken all to pieces.
Two persons only, MESSRS. BILLINGTON, are known to have been drowned. They were brothers, who had unexpectedly returned from California, and were going to suprise their wives. Their bodies have been recovered.
A number of the passengers were more or less injured, but none, it is believed, fatally. One lady had her arm broke.
The REV. MR. CLARK, of Uxbridge, was severely hurt, and is now at the Massasolt House here. There was a rumor of a lady being lost, but it proved to be incorrect. The track is so broken up that the cars cannot pass either way, and passengers are transferred from one set of cars to another.
At last accounts this evening they were drawing the water from the canal, to see if any more persons are lost. One hundred laborers are on the ground repairing the damage.
Springfield, Sunday, Oct. 31.
The train left New Haven with four passenger cars, and had just passed the village of Windsor Locks, approaching the bridge over the Canal. The track, it is known, is laid on the bank of the Canal. When the fourth or last car was thrown up, it disconnected with the third car, and rolled over into the Canal, landing right side up some fifteen feet from the bank. The third car was thrown from the track by the sudden jerk. Its forward truck turned round under the car, and the last track of the second car was also torn off and brought back under the third.
The train thus progressed and passed the bridge, leaving not a sleeper on the bridge, nor a rail not thrown out or broken. It thus went some fifty feet and when it stopped the third car was tipped toward the canal, so that another revolution of the engine must have thrown it into the canal with its whole load of passengers. MRS. JOS. WHITNEY, of Boston, had an arm broken, and was otherwise injured. On Sunday, MR. WHITNEY came up from Boston with a special train and removed her to that city.
The two men reported killed were probably all who lost their lives. Their names are believed to be JAMES and DANIEL BILLINGTON, of South Kingston, R. I., and they came home in the Georgia.
One of them was dead when taken out, but the other lingered for a few moments. A special messenger has been despatched to the families of these men to inform them of the sad event.
MR. MACON, of New York, was considerably injured in the head; how badly is not known.
GEN. JAMES PALMER, of New Haven, Chief Engineer of the "Air Line Railroad," was injured internally, and, from what we can ascertain, the most seriously of those who survive.
REV. MR. CLARK, of Oxbridge, was severely bruised in the hip and face, and thoroughly drenched. He, however, came immediately on, and spend Sabbath at the Massasoit House, in this city. His appearance as he alighted from the cars was that of a man nearer dead than alive, the nervous shock having spread a terribly cadaverous hue over his countenance. We learn that he is comfortable.
MRS. PATRICK, belonging to the family of GEO. MERRIAM, of this city, was one of those saved from the car, nearly uninjured. She was taken out of the roof.
MR. and MRS. R. S. MUNN, of Monsen, were among those somewhat seriously injured.
The great wonder is that no more lives were lost. The track was repaired so as to be passed by a train in the evening. The cause of the accident was a defective rail, which broke. The train, too, was under high speed.
The New York Times
New York, New York
November 1, 1852
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