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Railway Casuafties.

A Wash out at ChaneyV.

Engine Sinks into it

Two Men Killed.

United Press Association—By Electric Telegraph. Chbistchorch, June 24 A serious railway fatality occurred on Saturday to the midday train for Kaiapoi, whereby Mr R. J. Alexander, schoolmaster, Kaiapoi,find Mr John Richards, a farmer of the same place, lost their lives, and Mr George Clothier, farmer of Kaiupoi, hod both logs broken. The accident occurred about three quarters of a mile f romChaney's station. The country was flooded m the locality. A train had previously gone over a place where there was a little water on the rails," and tho driver was' advancing very carefully. The track ahead appeared to beßafe, but suddenly the engine plunged into the water and sank half way np to the boiler, the flood waters having loosened the soft sandy soil. The brakevan and tender next the engine turned on ends, and the first passenger carriage ran into them. Messrs Alexander and Richards were standing on the rear platform, of this carriage, and Mr Clothier was on the front of the next carriage. The first two mentioned were jambed between the two carriages and killed, and Mr Clothier was caught m the wreck and had both legs smashed. No one else was injured, though the passengers received a severe shock when the engine plunged into the water, , and a second shock when the carriages struck the vans, which was sufficient to throw people off their seats and cause great consternation. Two doctors were sent for from Kaiapoi, and a simi!ar number from here. The Minister of Railways first heard of the accident at Eakaia, and was greatly concerned when he learned of the casualties. Later Particulars. The scene of Saturday's railway accident is a short distance beyond Chaney'e, ;a flag Btation ten miles from Christchurch. There is a curve m the line just beyond Chaney's, and a thick plantation of pines, and it was m the midst of this plantation that the accident occurred. Overflow waters from the Waimakariri began to spread over the practically level country between the river and Belfast, the railway line acting as a kind of dam. The soil at the scene of the accident is light and sandy, and the flood water gradually worked its way through the railway embankment, undermining and withdrawing the necessary support from the permanent way. Outwardly there was nothing to show that the track was defective, and the engine-driver approached the fatal spot apparently without misgivings. The weight of the engine proved too much for the weakened track, and the engine suddenly sank, the rails giving way, one at a joint, and the other snapped, and the engine was thrown on its side on the left of the permanent way. The driver and fireman jumped from the engine into the water and landed without injury, and the guard escaped with a slight cut on the face. The train consisted of eight vehicles, a roadside car and brakevan beiDg immediately behind the engine and tender, then five passenger carriages and a van. On the rear platform of the first carriage were standing Messrs Alexander and Richards, though,some accounts state that they just rushed out of the carriage on to the platform when the accident occurred. The roadsider van was smashed, and the brake van thrown at sn angle from the line. The sudden stoppage forced the second carriage into the first one, and when this happened Messrs AleXander's andllichard's headß were caught between the ends of the roofs of the carriages. Their heads were almost severed from the trunks, and death was instantaneous. Mr Clothier was standing on tho front platform of the second carriage, and when the impact occurred his legs were caught, and both limbs weie broken. The bodies of th« two men killed were taken on by train to Kaiapoi, and Mr Clothier was removed to the hospital by a train which also conveyed the remainder of the passengers to Christchurch. The falling of the engine into the depreseion caused a breach m tha railway embankment, through which the flood waters poured with the force of a mill race, and the engine Was quickly submorged. So Btrong was the flow that the cushions of the seats and portions of the wrecked vans •were carried some distance from the scene of the accident. Passengers for Kaiapoi and Eangiora were conveyed later m the day via Rolleston Malvern, Sheffield, West Oxford, and West Oxford-Rangiora branches to their destinations, Rangiora passengers being carried a distance of 72 miles m phee of 20 miles, and those for Kaiapoi 78 miles instead of 14 miles. At 8 o'clock on Sunday morning large gangß were conveyed from the city, and were soon hard at work repairing the damage. After the accident occurred an extensive wash-out took place about a qaarter of a mile beyond Belfast, another not so extensive at a road crossing just before Chaney's, and a third, slight m character, a little beyond that station, the fourth being the one at which the accident occurred. On Sunday morning the flood, waters had subsided considerably, but many of the paddocks and roads near the railway were still partially submerged. The engine waa half out of the water, with the two vans piled up on the left, the smaller van being practically smashed into firewood. The first carriage was Btill on the rails, but tilted with its front near the level of the ■water. The front of the second carriage was jammed closely into the rear of the first. A light temporary deviation of the line is to be put m at the scene of the aooident, to permit of the resumption of traffic as early as possible. A 'jraue was taken to the spot on Sunday to assist m the removal of the wreoked vans and carriages, but the work of removing the engine promises to be rather difficult. The inquest on those killed was to be opened on Mondoy afternoon at Kaiapoi. Mr R. J. Alexander has been headmaster of the Kaiapoi school since 1880. He was a native of Saxmuntham, Suffolk, England, and sixty-one years of age. He was a member of the Educational Institute, vicepresident of the Kaiapoi Football Club, and was for ten years captain of the Kaiapoi Cadet Corps. He waa married. Mr Richards was a well-known farmer, and was married. The flag at the Chertsoy School was flown at half mast to-day on account of the death of Mr A. J. Alexander. Several of the deceased gentleman's ex-pupils now reside at Chertsey. i

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Bibliographic details

Railway Casuafties., Ashburton Guardian, Volume XXII, Issue 6605, 26 June 1905

Word Count

Railway Casuafties. Ashburton Guardian, Volume XXII, Issue 6605, 26 June 1905

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