Train Wreck 2010

 
 
TRAIN WRECK 2010


See photos of this wreck here.
 
NEWS PAPER REPORTS
 
Guess the PANTAGRAPH got the "Scoop Story" again!! Note the time!!
 
FROM THE BLOOMINGTON, ILLINOIS PANTAGRAPH
 
By Joe Deacon | jdeacon@pantagraph.com | Posted: Tuesday, August 10, 2010 5:07 pm |
 

CHATSWORTH — More than a dozen freight train cars derailed Tuesday afternoon in Chatsworth, blocking all of the town’s railroad crossings on the 123rd anniversary of the Chatsworth Train Wreck, one of the deadliest railroad accidents in U.S. history.

The westbound, 102-car train had just changed crews in Piper City and was headed to Peoria when the derailment occurred about 2:25 p.m., said Livingston County sheriff’s Detective Tony Childress, who said he was speaking on behalf of Toledo, Peoria & Western Railway officials at the scene.

No one was injured, Childress said.

Some railroad employees speculated the excessive heat caused the tracks to buckle, but officials continued to investigate the cause Tuesday evening.

Some of the cars that fell off the track fell into the backyard of Kirt Anderson’s property at 319 W. Locust.

“We were inside the house and the whole house shook and everything,” said Anderson. “I ran up there to see if anybody needed help or anything.”

Hailey Buff and Caitlin Poletto, both 9, were in the Anderson yard when they saw the accident.

“It (the train) kept getting louder and louder and it kept going back and forth and it finally dropped,” Hailey said. “It hit a tree and the tree dragged with it.”

The derailment occurred in the front half of the train on the west side of town, but the rest of the train stretched through the community.

All four crossings in town were blocked into the evening, which was a concern to emergency services. The derailment happened across from the Chatsworth firehouse.

The crossings at First, Fourth and Sixth streets reopened shortly before 7 p.m. when a TP&W engine arrived from Remington, Ind., and pulled away the undamaged back end of the train. The crossing at Locust remained blocked by a derailed car.

Childress said the upright cars on the front half of the train also were to be moved out of town.

“Tomorrow morning (today) they’ll begin the cleanup of all the derailed cars,” he said. “I’m guessing that will be two to three days minimum, but they may be quicker than that.”

Sixteen cars derailed, including three that were lying on their sides. Many were empty cars used for hauling grain and related products and belong to Incobrasa Industries Ltd., a Gilman-based soybean-processing company.

Tanker with ammonia

Seven empty tankers were off the tracks but remained upright, he said. One tanker carrying anhydrous ammonia remained on the tracks.

One car was leaning against a utility pole, but utility service remained unaffected in the town. Crews from AmerenIP and Mediacom were on scene to maintain services.

Jerry Tauberschmidt, who lives a block away from the site, was surprised later to learn a train derailed.

“I didn’t even know it happened. I did hear a thud or something, but I didn’t know it was this,” said Tauberschmidt.

“You’d think something like this would’ve made a louder noise.”

The accident occurred on the anniversary of the 1887 disaster that claimed more than 80 lives. An eastbound TP&W passenger train carrying about 700 people derailed east of Chatsworth when a fire-damaged bridge collapsed.

“What a coincidence. I guess the ghosts are still out there,” said Anderson. “The best part of it all, you can look and take pictures all day but no one got hurt.”

Posted in Local, News on Tuesday, August 10, 2010 5:07 pm Updated: 8:02 am. | Tags:



FROM THE PONTIAC DAILY LEADER

 

By Erich Murphy
Pontiac Daily Leader
Posted Aug 10, 2010 @ 08:58 PM
Chatsworth, Ill. —

            A freight train derailed at the southeastern Livingston County community of Chatsworth Tuesday. No official details were provided on the accident.

            The irony of this incident is that it took place on the same line just a few mikes west of one America’s deadliest train accidents — 123 years to the day.

            At about 12:45 a.m. on Thursday, Aug. 10, 1887, the TP&W train carrying passengers to Niagara Falls wrecked at a small, wooden bridge just inside the Livingston County line between Chatsworth and Piper City.

            The train consisted, according to a report from the Chatsworth Plaindealer on Aug. 12, 1887, “two engines, six sleepers, two chair cars, five coaches, one special and one baggage car.”

            The bridge had caught fire earlier in the day and smoldered, thus weakening it enough that it could hold the weight of the train. Workers had been burning weeds along the rail line’s right of way. It was said that the workers believed all the fires to had been extinguished by nightfall.

            Also according to the Plaindealer, “It was the last railroad bridge on the T.P.&W. track in this county, and was to span the main ditch running through the JEROME HOWE and JAS.A.SMITH farms, in section one. It is located nearly two and one-half miles east of Chatsworth, about fifty rods west of the Ford County line. It was a two pile bents, four piling to each bent. It was fifteen feet long, six-feet high. The stringers were seven inches by sixteen inches, two under each rail. The ties were six inches by eight inches by nine feet-oak. The master mechanic of bridges and building of the T.P.& W. Ry. is Mr. J.H.MARKLEY, who swore at the coroner's inquest that the bridge had been repaired about fourteen months ago, and that its condition was good.”

            It was a little bridge but important given the terrain of the area.

            As for the train, according to later newspaper accounts, it started in LaHarpe in western Illinois and made its way through Galesburg and crossed the Illinois River at Peoria. Passengers from many parts of Illinois and the rest of the country were on board. It was estimated that as many as 700 were on the train.

            Eventually the train made its way through Livingston County when disaster struck. Rail cars of the time were made of wood. Some cars had wood-burning stoves. Plus, with the use of coal in the engines, fire was inevitable after the wreck.

            Also, because of the wooden cars, telescoping was not unusual. The telescoping — cars running through one another like a telescope — and fire helped create a high death toll.

            The death toll was listed at between 81 and 85. The injured numbered as many as nearly 400. Most accounts of the time indicated fewer than 200.

            The following is an account taken from the Plaindealer off the Chatsworth, Illinois, Memories Web site. It tells about what took place on that fateful night 123 years ago.

            “Just east of the bridge three cars were telescoped, and it is wonderful that anyone escaped alive from either of them, they were so totally demolished.  What remains of General Supertendent  E. N. ARMSTRONG's special car lies headed north and south, instead of east and west as the track runs, and the other cars are in a similar manner, damaged or destroyed.  None of the occupants of his car were seriously injured.

            “The work of rescuing the victims from their numerous precarious situations was immediately begun, and the Chatsworth fire department deserves especial credit for their valor and the much needed assistance they rendered.  As the cars fell, one crushing upon another, they were, in places, heaped twelve and fifteen feet into the air.  To rescue the sufferers from these, a system of planks and ladders were used, and the wounded, dying and dead alike carried down to places of safety.  To add to the terror of the scene a heavy thunder and lightening storm came up, and , with heavy rain made such a scene as would apall the bravest hearts.  As fast as possible the wounded were brought in by the special train, that they might receive proper medical aid, but the number so far exceeded anything that had been expected, that the upper and lower rooms of the hall were soon filled, after which the school building was opened and many were taken there, while many others were taken to private houses.  The FELKER building was used as a morgue, where the dead were brought from the wreck and left for identification.

            “The telegraph offices have been besieged with people wishing to communicate with friends and those expecting some tidings from anxious friends abroad.

            “Many especially terrible scenes were presented.  Men and women reaching and hanging from the car windows and crushed to death while endeavoring to escape.  Mothers holding their infants out of the windows, that they, at least, might be saved.  Helpless infants and children who had been rescued, crying piteously for their parents, while many a mother rushed frantically about, vainly looking for her child who had perished in the wreck.  Many, as they lay with broken and crushed limb and bodies, calling for relatives and friends who were with them in the wreck, were stricken with grief to hear that they were not yet found, or were among the dead or dying.  Even the strongest men were forced to tears as they heard and saw the anguish of the unhappy excursionists.  While many displayed strong courage, grit, and heroism, others were almost frantic, and those in attendence upon them were forced to hold them to prevent acts of insanity and self-destruction.

            “THE WOUNDED LEFT IN CHATSWORTH, AND THEIR CONDITION FRIDAY EVENING AT 9 P.M.

            “Of the sixteen wounded left in Chatsworth, at this hour, eight are in private houses and eight on the upper floor of the Town Hall.  After receiving the very best care and everything that could possibly be done for them.  Their conditions as follows:

            “DR.H.P.HAZEN, Fort Madison, Iowa, wife and wife's cousin, MISS ALTER, are all doing well, but will not attempt their journey home for some days.  An old aunty, who arrived today, and a brother of Mrs. HAZEN are with them, and they are as comfortable as circumstances will admit.

            “MISS JULIA VALDIJO, ? Peoria, who is a great sufferer, from serious internal injuries, is not in a condition to be removed, and her prospects of recovery are extremely doubtful.

            “H.H.BOND, Colchester, Ill., whose spine is injured, is suffering considerably, but will, if his courage keeps good, pull through.  His brother is with him and he is made as comfortable as his injuries will permit.

            “ADAM SHAMBURGER, Peoria, Ill., who has a broken leg and abdomal injuries, is in a precarious condition, and is kept under the influence of narcotics.

            “EATON WATTERS, Co?tage, Catarogues county, N.Y., is injured about the hips and head.  His internal injuries may carry him away. He is resting quietly at 9 p.m. Friday evening.

            “MRS.R.H.CLARK, of Rootstown, Ohio, is in a precarious condition from internal injuries.  Her husband arrived from his home at noon Friday, and is prostrate with grief at the terrible condition of his wife and the loss of his little boy, whose remains have been admirably cared for by MR.W.W.POST and family.  Her sister, MRS.HARRIS, also arrived Friday and is nursing the patient as we go to press at 3:40 a.m. Saturday morning.

            “AT MR. AND MRS. C.A.WILSON'S

            “HAROLD B. LAWRENCE, of Burlington,Iowa, who received bad, but not serious, cuts about the head,face, and legs, and whose back is bruised, is doing nicely.  His father is with him and will remain until such time as the patient is fit for removal.

            “AT REV. AND MRS. BIRCH'S

            “Little FRANK SNEDAKER, of Abingdon,Ill., is domiciled.  No braver person was in the ill-fated train than this little fellow.  His leg was amputated, his arm is broken, and his eye injured.  His mother was killed and his father has gone home with the remains, and will return.  MRS. KIPP, of Wing, Ill., a cousin of REV. SNEDAKER, is with the little hero.  He was very restless at the hour of our reporter's call, but all hope for the recovery of this brave little fellow, who said when asked at the time of his rescue, "I'm not hurt much, help those who are crying first."

            “AT MR. AND MRS.A.B.SEARING'S

            “MISS SARAH MAY LAW, of Eureka, Ill., is still a great sufferer, and had been until a short time prior to our call, unconscious, but reaction has restored her.  Her brother is with her, and her uncle, who was here, took her mother, who was injured, but not seriously, home Friday.  The patient can not be moved for several days.

            “AT MR. AND MRS.SAML. ORR'S

            “C.B.NUZZEL, Canton, Ill., dislocated hip; not very serious, and will be about in a short time.

            “AT MR. AND MRS.J.H.MARTIN'S

            “MRS. S.R. BORDEN, Tonica, Ill., right ankle broken and left foot badly bruised.  Her husband arrived Friday and they will remain some time, as the lady and Mrs.MARTIN were friend from childhood.

            “AT MR. AND MRS. JNO.R. BIGHAM'S

            “MR.JOTHAM NEIL, of Mossville, Ill., is badly bruised about head, but not confined to the bed.

            “MRS. LETTIE NEIL, wife of above, has right arm and right leg broken and gash in forehead.  She is doing very nicely.  This lady lost a baby nineteen months old in the catastrophy, which has been taken home for burial.

            “Their friends, MR. AND MRS. N.Q.TANQUAREY, of Pontiac, and MR. TUTTLE of Dunlap, and MISS NEIL, of Mossville, are caring for them.”


 

CNN - iReport

CNN producer note

A freight train derailed Tuesday in Chatsworth, Illinois, a few miles away from the worst train accident in U.S. history that occurred 123 years ago to the day. 'It's a crazy coincidence,' said krunyon, who had to drove a mile outside of town to get around the train and snap these photos. There were no injuries, he said. You can read more about the accident on local newspaper The Pantagraph.
- katie, CNN iReport producer

iReport —



CHATSWORTH -- More than a dozen freight train cars derailed Tuesday afternoon in Chatsworth, blocking all of the town's railroad crossings on the 123rd anniversary of the Chatsworth Train Wreck, one of the deadliest railroad accidents in U.S. history.

 

The westbound, 102-car train had just changed crews in Piper City and was headed to Peoria when the derailment happened about 2:25 p.m., said Livingston County sheriff's Detective Tony Childress, who said he was speaking on behalf of Toledo, Peoria & Western Railroad officials at the scene.

 

No one was injured, he said.

 

Some railroad employees speculated the excessive heat caused the tracks to buckle, but officials continued to investigate Tuesday evening.

 

Sixteen cars derailed, including three that were lying on their sides. Many were empty cars used for hauling grain and related products and belong to Incobrasa Industries Ltd., a Gilman-based soybean-processing company.

 

Seven empty tankers were off the tracks but remained upright, he said. One tanker carrying anhydrous ammonia remained on the tracks.

 

One car was leaning against a utility pole, but utility service remained unaffected in the town.

 

The derailment occurred in the front half of the train just west of town, but the rest of the train stretched through the community.

 

All four crossings in town were blocked, which was a concern to emergency services. The derailment happened across from the Chatsworth firehouse.

The nearest open crossings are about a mile out of town.

 

The railroad called in engines from Remington, Ind., to haul away the cars that remained on the tracks and open the crossings. They were expected to arrive around 6 p.m.

 

Officials at the scene said it may be a week before the scene is cleared completely.


Clean up story

 

 From: www.pantagraph.com

Cleanup continues in Chatsworth derailment

CHATSWORTH — Crews enduring hot, humid conditions Wednesday managed to right nine of more than a dozen freight train cars that derailed Tuesday in Chatsworth.

Heavy-equipment teams from Hulcher Services, a Denton, Texas-based railroad services contractor, plan to return Thursday for the remaining seven cars, said Livingston County sheriff’s Detective Tony Childress.

The Peoria-bound 102-car train started to topple into backyards and some empty fields about 2:30 p.m. Tuesday. In all, 16 cars near the front of the Toledo, Peoria & Western Railway train derailed, but there were no injuries.

The cause hasn’t been determined, but no foul play was suspected, said Childress.

The Federal Railway Administration was notified of the event and will wait for TP&W to submit its accident report, said agency spokesman Warren Flatau. The railway has until the end of September to do so, he said.

When trains will be operating again on the line is unclear, said Childress. “The track was heavily damaged by the derailment,” he said.

On Wednesday afternoon, crews working along a shadeless stretch of Livingston County Road 830 North near Locust Street took short breaks inside the Chatsworth Volunteer Fire Department, which opened its doors and made cold water available to the workers.

Teddy and Rita Dunn spent time off work Wednesday relaxing under a tree, watching contractors use heavy equipment lift the cars.

“I thought it would be interesting to watch how they do it,” said Teddy Dunn.

Many of the derailed cars used by Incobrasa Industries Ltd., Gilman-based soybean-processing company, were empty. Seven empty tankers were off the tracks, but one tanker carrying anhydrous ammonia remained on the tracks and was removed without incident Wednesday.

The crossing at Locust Street remained blocked for repair work Wednesday, but other crossings in town were reopened Tuesday evening when much of the train was hauled away.

Coincidentally, the derailment occurred on the 123rd anniversary of the Chatsworth Train Wreck that left 80 people dead.

Several calls to RailAmerica, which owns the railroad, and to Hulcher were not returned Wednesday.