This Day in the Yesteryear: ASHTABULA RIVER RAILROAD DISASTER (1876)


Ashtabula River Railroad Disaster (1876)

As the Lake Shore and Michigan Southern Railway train plowed ahead through deep snow on December 29, 1876, a bridge over Ohio’s Ashtabula River fractured with a loud crack, plunging every train car except the lead engine into the river about 70 ft (21 m) below. The wooden cars, equipped with kerosene lamps and stoves, became an inferno. Ninety-two people died, many burned beyond recognition. The accident initiated the standardization of bridge inspection. What became of the bridge’s designers? More… Discuss

 

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