Canadian Transport Sourcebook

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Another Catastrophe Great Lost of Life.—Another of those dire catastrophes that send a shudder through the whole community has occurred this morning on the Grand Trunk Railway, between Quebec and Montreal as reported in our telegraph column. A train full of immigrants freshly arrived on our shores from Europe were on their way westward, when through the carelessness, apparently, of the engineer and conductor of the train in which they travelled, the whole party numbering we hear five hundred souls were hurried through an open draw bridge a large portion of them to instantly meet their maker. We wait anxiously for further details.

At the hour of going to press we have nothing beyond the above. It is reported that the loss of life has been fearful. The Necker, brought out 537 passengers. All of these left by this unfortunate train, but six families, say 50 persons, who being without money, could not proceed, and are still at Point Levi Station. This will give the number in the train at 487, of whom it is said but two have escaped. Mr. Stafford, of the Government Immigration office, left town by the 2 p.m. Express, and will be back in the morning, when no doubt we shall have full particulars.

As to the Telegraph reports, we have just to take what we can get from Montreal, and at five o'clock we learn that they have nothing further than what was sent us this morning.

It is rumored in the Upper Town that four Members of Parliament, including one of the MacDonalds, (supposed to be Sandfield,) are among the passengers. We regret our inability to give full and correct details.

The width of the river at the point of crossing is such that, unlike a canal, there would be ample room for submerging the entire train, and thus possibly in the darkness no one would survive to aid the other passengers.


By Telegraph This Day.

(Reported for the Daily Evening Mercury.)

Serious Railway Accident. This Morning on the Grand Trunk Railway at St. Hilaire!

An Emigrant Train run through a Draw Bridge across the Richelieu!!

34 Persons Killed,

Beloeil, June 29th.

A serious accident happened this morning about half-past one o'clock, to an Emigrant train from Quebec. The train stopped at St. Hilaire, about one mile from the bridge across the Richelieu river, where there is a swing bridge. The swing bridge was opened about a quarter past one to let a number of barges in tow of a steamer pass. The proper signals were opened and the red light was burning well. The man in charge of the bridge when he heard the whistle waved his red hand lamp. The standing orders are that all trains come to a full stop before reaching the bridge. This was disregarded and the train ran into the open draw.

A large number of emigrants are killed and injured. It is impossible to say how many at present. A large body of men are at work clearing away the wreck.

At 8 a.m. 34 bodies had been recovered and between 30 and 40 taken out more or less injured. The depth of water in the draw is 10 feet.

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