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A Stoker Killed. Narrow Escape of the Passengers. A telegram was received by Mr Hannay, Manager of Railways in Christchurch, last evening, stating that a railway accident had occurred on the Clinton-Balclutha line, at Warepa station. The train was chiefly composed of goods trucks, and fortunately contained only a few passengers, but the accident caused the death of the stoker. The following further particu : lars of the accident were telegraphed to us by the Press Association this afternoon: —As the 4.40 train from Balclutha to Clinton reached the Kaihiku bridge a horse was seen on the line, but it was too late to stop the train. The horse was caught by the cow-catcher, and was carried by it some ten yards, when the engine ran off the line, and fell down an embankment ten feet deep. The driver at once shut off steam and ran off the water. The train consisted of fifteen trucks and one van. The engine and tender and seven trucks ran off the rails, the tender lying on its side and across the end of the engine, some trucks being on each side of the line. The stoker, James Woodcock, was found lying under the tender, and his death must have been instantaneous. James Blackwood, a water-pumper at Waiwera, was caught by his foot between the engine and the tender, and every exertion was made to release him, but the task was not accomplished until late in the evening, afier the reporter left. No one else was hurt. The rails of the line are considerably twisted and displaced, and the engine is also much damaged, but the trucks are apparently not much injured. The accident happened at 5.30 p.m. yesterday. There were only three passengers by the train, and they escaped without injury. Chisholm, the Inspector of the Permanent Railways, arrived at 8.45 p.m., and proceeded at once to clear the line. Dr Smith, of Balclutha, arrived on the scene of the accident last evening. Later. The line was cleared and ready for traffic at 4 o’clock this morning, and the damage to the line and rolling stock is comparatively trifling. James Blackwood has his leg broken. An inquest on the body of Woodcock was opened to-day. After viewing the body the inquest was adjourned till Tuesday.

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Bibliographic details

Ashburton Guardian, Ashburton Guardian, Volume III, Issue 523, 31 December 1881

Word Count

FATAL RAILWAY ACCIDENT IN SOUTHLAND. Ashburton Guardian, Volume III, Issue 523, 31 December 1881