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PostPosted: Sun Oct 17, 2010 10:52 am 
Spider Lady
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Location: Staffordshire
The Times

Thursday September 6 1860.

The Railway Crash at Helmshore

The inquest on the bodies of the unfortunate persons killed on the East Lancashire Railway, at Helmshore, by a collision during the night of Monday, was commenced yesterday, at the Turners' Arms Inn, Helmshore, before Mr. Hargreaves, coroner, Blackburn. It appears that 10 persons had been killed and not 11, as stated in our report yesterday. Before the inquest we were informed that two other of the pssengers were not likely to survive many hours.
Among the gentlemen present were Mr. Fenton (one of the traffic managers), Mr. Shaw (passenger superintendent), and Mr. Grundy (solicitor to the railway company).
The Coroner said it was only his intention to take evidence at the present meeting with a view to the identification of the bodies. With regard to the awful occurrence on which they were called togather, it would require very strict investigation, in order that they might arrive at a satisfactory conclusion; but the material part of the evidence it would be necessary to defer to another day.
The jury then accompanied the coroner to view the bodies; they afterwards went down the line to see the plac where the collision occurred. The line from the station to this place is on a gradient of 1 in 78, and slightly curved, through a cutting.
Edward James Taylor said thedeceased, Richard Heap, was a neighbour of his at Warp Mill, near Colne. Deceased was 25 years old, and left a widow and five children. Witness and deceased left Colne together, and went by an excursion train to Manchester, about 20 minutes after 9 o'clock on Monday morning. There was an exhibition at Belle Vue Gardens, Manchester, and they went to that. Witness left Manchester on his return about a quarter past 11 at night by the last train. I was aware there were two excursion trains before us. Deceased did not go back in the same carriage with me. We passed the Ramsbottom station safely, and proceeded upwards of two miles further before anything happened. I then heard the noise of a crash, and felt that we had come into collision with something. I then jumped out of the carriage. I saw and heard smoke and steam rushing from the engine, and was afraid to approach it, fearing an explosion. A great many people were then out of the train, which had come to a stand, and there was great confusion and alarm. As soon as possible I did approach, and found two carriages of a train that came back upon us broken to pieces, and two other carriages were thrown upon the bank of the cutting, and several other pieces were in a shattered condition. Many of the passengers had been thrown out of the carriages and were lying about, and many were lying among the wreck of the broken carriages. The railway servants and passengers assisted hose who could not help themselves. I assisted, and saw two women and one drawn out, who were dead. I saw Richard Heap carried away on a plank, and I went to him, not knowing at the time who it was; but he told me his name, and he recognized my voice, and called me by my name. I accompanied him to the inn, and after going to the scene of the accident several times, was present with him about 5 o'clock, when he expired. He appeared to be much crushed about the thighs and abdomen. There was an awful cut on the right thigh, and one leg was much twisted. The collision occurred about half-past 12 o'clock. I do not know how many carriages there were in my train, but I counted 16 in the part of a train which had come back into collision with us. The carriages appeared full but not over-crowded. The carriage I travelled in was four or five from the engine. In our train I perceived one carriage that was injured - the one next the engine and tender. The engine and boiler did not appear much injured, but they were covered so much with fragments of broken carriages that I could not see them well enough to speak to particulars. It appeared to me, from what I saw, that our train was going 10 or 15 miles per hour. The train seemed to be going cautiously up the incline before the collision, and I supposed it was because there was another train before us. Of the 16 carriages we ran into there 5 broken, and the passengers in those carriages were, some of them, those of whom I have spoken. I knew, among the other passengers killed, Thomas Blythe. Mr. Shaw, the general superintendent of the line, gave me authority to get whatever assistance I could for the wounded, and the railway porters and servants did all they could to aid them.
By a Juror.- In getting the dead and wounded from the carriages, I noticed that there was a break to one of the carriages, either the third or fourth, of those we ran into. We had to move that carriage, and after we removed it three feet back, I then directed the break to be screwed down. Whether it was screwed down before I did not know.
The inquest was [proceeding when our report] left, at 3 o'clock.
The following is a complete list of the killed:-
Samuel Duckworth, labourer, Ewood-bridge, aged 48, strangulation.
John Hartley, labourer, Oak Printworks, Accringon, 25, arm broken, and bodily injuries, died from internal hemorrhage.
Richard Heap, mechanic, Bridge-end, Colne, middle aged, inward hemorrhage and compound fracture of the thigh.
Starkie Harrison, tailor, Barrowford, 21, one leg broken, and severely crushed.
Mary Fell, Barrowford, 20, dreadfully crushed.
Mary Hays, Maugholds, 50, both legs broken, and dreadfully crushed.
Alice Hartley, Burnley, 24, legs broken, and appears to have been strangled.
Isabella Hindle, Baxenden, 20, contusion of the brain.
Thomas Lofthouse, spinner, Hancoats, contusion of the belly.
Thomas Blythe, Colne, weaver, 30, inward hemorrhage.
Alice Higgins, Temperance-hall, Barrowford, broken leg.
John Clegg, Milton-street, Burnley, broken leg.
Mrs. Cleg (wife of the above), fractured leg.
Jane Ducksbury, wife of Mr. Starkie's gamekeeper, Padiham, both legs fractured.
Smith Medley, Colne, broken leg.
John Whittaker, Whitford, Nelson, fractured leg.
Robinson Hartley, Barrowford, fractured thigh.
Lawrence Jarvis, Barrowford, fractured leg.
Isabella Elliott, fracture of the collar bone.
Daniel Dugdale, Accrington, fractured leg.
Catherine Doyle, Accrington, fractured leg.
Ephraim Ellison, Accrington, dislocated left knee, and other bruises on the legs and face.
James Cooper, Enfield, fractured leg and dislocation of the shoulder.
Richard Dearden, spinner, Accrington, fractured leg and thigh.
Abraham Pilkington, fractured arm.
Hartley Butterfield, Barrowford, compound fracture of leg.
Margaret Fell, Barrowford, fractured toe.
John Duckworth, Haslingden, fractured leg.
Mary Ann Bullock, Burnley, fractured leg.
James Holstead, Haslingden, fractured leg.
John Barnes, Haslingden, fractured leg.
John Brierley, Haslingden, fractured leg.
Sarah Leigh, Barrowford, generally contused.
Ann Dixon, Nelson, bruises on forehead.
Thomas Hindle, Baxendale, severely contused foot.
John Fort, Colne, bruised leg, contused chest, and cut face.
Thomas Mason, Burnley, bruised leg.
Robert Medley, Colne, contused face and chest.
James Knowles, Enfield, deep wound below the eye.
Darcey Stewart, Enfield, scalp wound.
Benjamin Clegg, contused face and neck.
James Cooper and his sister, Burnley, both bruised legs.
John Walmsley, Accrington, contused foot.
Richard Watson, Helmshore, extensive cut in the face.
Mary Moody, Burnley, generally contused.
Henry Whittaker, Burnley, bruised leg and head.
James Hoyle, Haslingden, fractured thigh.
Wife of John Hartley, Haslingden, contused face.


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