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1888 - A TERRIBLE CALAMITY. THE FLOOR OF A NEWLY BUILT CHURCH GIVES WAY. OVER ONE HUNDRED PEOPLE INJURED, SOME FATALLY.

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THE WILDEST EXCITEMENT PREVAILS AND FIVE THOUSAND PEOPLE BECOME PANIC STRICKEN BUT COOLER HEADS FINALLY RESCUE THE UNFORTUNATE MEN, WOMAN AND CHILDREN FROM THE WRECK - THE CAUSE OF THE ACCIDENT - LIST OF INJURED.

Reading, Pa., Oct. 8. - The cornerstone of the Polish Catholic Church, Twelfth and Spruce Streets, this city, was laid Sunday afternoon.
During the ceremony the floor, on which fully three thousand men, woman and children were standing, gave away, precipitating several hundred persons to the basement, a distance of fifteen feet.

Over one hundred men and women were thrown in a heap and all were more or less injured, some seriously and others fatally.

The wildest excitement followed and the five thousand spectators became panic stricken. Cooler heads, however, went to the rescue of the unfortunate and the injured were taken into neighboring dwellings and physicians hastily summoned. Later the wounded were removed to their homes and the various hospitals by ambulances.

Among the injured are:
HUGH O'ROURKE, right foot badly sprained and leg bruised.
RICHARD STANTON, knee-cap severely injured.
WILLIAM M. KOENIG, suffering from severe bruises.
PATRICK McDONNELL, leg broken.
GEORGE NEIDERT, leg sprained.
AMBROSE LENNIG, left hip and spine injured.
CATHARINE BROADTMAN, internally injured.
MRS. C. A. BROADTMAN, cut in the face.
MRS. JOHN BORKOSKI, leg shattered.
PHILIP FRANCISCO, left leg fractured.
JOSEPH MARTIN, left leg broken.
JOHN I. SMITH, serious internal injuries.
JOHN SAUL, leg broken.
JOHN ROTZ, ankle broken.
AUGUSTUS HELFRECH, injured internally.
LEWIS E. REISINGER, ribs broken and cut about the head.
FREDERICK WEILANDT, legs injured; cannot walk.
EVA SHADE, leg broken and hurt internally.
JOHN H. SNYDER, suffering with contusions.
RICHARD HULSHIZER, severely bruised.
JOSEPHINE BRISSE, painful injury to spine.
MRS. JOSEPH BOYER, limbs severely injured.
MATHEW BREIDEGAM, terribly bruised.
AARON YELLIS, injured internally.
MRS. JOHN BORN and daughter, badly crushed; No hope for MRS. BORN'S recovery.
JOHN A. NEIDERT, leg broken.
JOHN FELIX, severely bruised.
GEORGE HIPPS, leg sprained.
THEODORE BRADY, back badly hurt.
LILLIE BITTING, knocked unconscious by a piece of timber falling on her.
JOSEPHINE HEINE, compound fracture of both bones below the knee.
AUGUSTUS B. SEILING, leg badly hurt.
GEORGE SIEGFRIED, leg broken.
HENRY HARP, back believed to be broken.
HENRY D. STAPLETON, right leg broken.
JOSEPH STEIGERWALD, injured internally and at 11 o'clock tonight was not expected to live ten minutes.
LIZZIE DOLL, chest and hips injured; in convulsions all night.
MRS. ANNIE LEVIN, badly injured internally.
STEPHEN SEHL, JR., both arms broken.
JOHN SHICK, back injured; will die.
WILSON T. ECK, severely bruised about the head and face.
MRS. BOWERS, badly stunned, and her child's tongue cut off.
Officer PRICE, nose mashed.
Mayor J. R. KENNEY, injured about leg and face.
AUGUST WEIS, jaw broken.
SAMMY MINNING, head cut and legs badly bruised.

Between twenty and thirty others sustained minor injuries. Fifteen members of St. John's Commanuery, Knights of the Golden Cross, of Lancaster, were wounded, the following being hurt the most seriously:
JOHN SCHIED and VALENTINE, his son, both have their legs fractured and are injured internally; not expected to recover.

FREDERICK SCHROAD, injured about the head and cut in the face.
A. P. KERSHNER, internally injured and frightfully bruised; condition critical.
RUDOLPH WALTER, injuries of serious internal character.
SCOTT STERNER, both legs sprained and bruised; unable to walk.

The others sustained bad body bruises, contusions and lacerated wounds, but were able to leave for Lancaster on a special train soon after the accident, and their names could not be ascertained. Those whose names are given are in the hospitals of this city. A stranger who refused to give his name had his knee-cap broken and was hurt about the head and back. Archbishop Ryan stood within twenty-five feet of the chasm and had a narrow escape. None of the priests were hurt. It is expected that some of the worst injured will die before morning.


Norwalk Daily Advocate
Norwalk, Ohio
October 8, 1888

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