This accident occurred before
the Ottawa and
New York Railway was opened to traffic. It turned out to be
most serious accident in the entire life of the line.
Four men killed.
Gravel train derailed with
Accident occurred near St. Onge in Russell county.
Twenty five cars reduced to splinters.
Russell June 11. At 6 o'clock last
night a construction train on the New York and Ottawa Railroad,
with 22 cars loaded with gravel, left the track at Embrun
The accident is supposed to have been caused by an open
The engine turned over on its side
and ten cars piled up and were smashed into tinder.
Four bodies were taken out of the wreck. They are Mr.
conductor, Mr. Crysler, fireman, and J.W. Rombough and Greenley carmen.
At 8 o'clock this morning it was impossible to say if any more are
under the wreck.
Ottawa June 11. The accident caused quite a stir around the
and was discussed on all sides, although no authentic particulars can
be obtained. The Free press sent a representative to the
and at a late hour this morning he telephoned that the accident was
most appalling Only the four bodies had been removed from the
wreck and it was not thought any others met death, although an escape
after the sudden pitch in occurred would have been impossible to any on
the ill-fated train.
From information received, the train was
ditched by an open switch near St. Onge, which is about seven
miles from Russell village. The train was known as No.
3 and was returning from the pit to Longfield on the last run
of the day at the rate of nearly 20 miles an hour. The train
consisted of an engine and 25 heavily laden cars. Just where
switch is situated there is a steep embankment and down this the engine
plunged at full steam with the unfortunate victims. There was
chance for escape. In a twinkling the cars crashed together
went on top of the locomotive and the poor fellows who
were in the cab. The three nearest cars were reduced to
and all piled up in a miscellaneous mass on top of the wrecked
engine. The scene which followed was frightful. No
assistance could be
rendered the helpless ones.
Work of rescue started at once by the railway hands, but it was hours
before the bodies were recovered.
The bodies of William Rombough, the cable man on the train, and Fireman
Crysler were recovered about 8
o'clock but that of Conductor Greenley could not be found until 2
o'clock this morning and by that time two car loads of gravel had
been shovelled away. The man's head was badly smashed and
his legs broken, Fireman Crysler's body was found near that of
Rombough. It was frightfully bruised. A brother of
Greenley's who was
also on the train was hurled head first into the ditch and one of the
cars crushed him. He was killed instantly.
Engineer Murray, as the train approached
the switch, notices something was wrong and quickly reversing
the brakes, jumped for his life. He escaped with a few
bruises and a scalp wound. Jacob Brown, one of the train
had one of his hands frightfully crushed and Manson Hollister an ugly
scalp wound. Both are in serious condition and fears
are entertained for their recovery.
Greenley, a short time ago, moved from the east to Ottawa, and has a
wife and two sons here.
Crysler was a resident of
Crysler and was a
President Hibbard, when seen in referrence to the accident said ""I
know very little of the details. There is no telegraph office
Embrun and the nearest telephone is three miles away, so that
particulars are meagre. It appears that a construction train
belonging to the contractors Messrs. Balch and Peppard was going
south. It consisted of an engine and some twenty empty flat
cars. The switch at the north end of Embrun siding had been
tampered with, possibly by someone who knew very little about
The wheels of the engine caught in the opening, with the result that
the engine was derailed and ten flat cars piled upon one
The cars were entirely demolished and the engine partially
disabled. Fireman Crysler of Crysler; Conductor Greenley, of
Ottawa and two brakemen, whose names I do not know, were
This was the contractors train, the company had nothing to do with the
accident and we are in no way responsible for it. As I said
before it was purely on account of some one tampering with the switch.
An inquest into the cause of the wreck on the Ottawa and New York road
was held at Embrun. Dr. Ferguson, of Cumberland, presided as
coroner, and Duncan McDiarmid was
foreman of the jury. There was quite an array of legal
R.A. Pringle representing the contractors, and C.H. Cline of Cornwall
and C.B. Rae of Chesterville, the friends of the victims.
hearing all the evidence the inquest was adjourned to meet
again on 16th instant in the village of Russell. An order was issued
for the interment of the bodies.
There was also a piece on the death of Frank Crysler, the only son of
the reeve of Crysler and a description of the funeral.