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Palmerston, September 25.—The 0.10 a.m. train to-clay from Palmerston on arriving in the neighborhood of Rowley’s bridge, near Coal Point, and on going round a curve and down the heavy gradient there, ran into an engine and truck on their way to Palmerston, conveying Oamaru stone. The truck had got off the line, and it is stated that no warning was given to the approaching train from Palmerston. Jenkins, fireman of the latter train, jumped off, and was not much hurt, though he feels internal pains. White, th# engine-driver of the same train, sustained a simple fracture four or five inches below the knee. He was attended to by Dr Brown, of Palmerston, and was afterwards conveyed to the Oamaru hospital. From inquiries made it appears that the goods train from Oamaru was late, and that one of the waggons breaking down caused a further detention. The station-master at Palmerston, without awaiting the arrival of this train, started the passenger train for Oamaru at the usual hour, thinking the goods train would run on to some siding, and the accident happened five minutes after the departure of the passenger train. The blame is therefore attributable to the Palmerston station-master in foolishly starting his train. The noon train from Oamaru did not arrive till 3 p.m. in consequence of the accident. The damage to the engines is not so great as was at first expected. The breaking of the buffer of one of the engines and the damaging of the buffers of two of the waggons were the only injuries sustained„by the plant. Our Oamaru correspondent sends the following additional particulars :—The goods train is supposed to leave Oamaru at about half-past three o’clock in the morning, and to reach Palmerston at ten minutes past s ; x, passing the train from that place for Oamaru. There are general instructions to keep a look-out for the passenger train. On this occasion the goods train was considerably after time both in arriving and departing from Oamaru. It was half-past four when the goods train left Oamaru ; it did not pass Otepopo until 5.30, or five minutes too late to reach Palmerston in time to pass the passenger train at that place The goods train was driven by M‘Moran, the guard being Arthur Daney, Immediately ou receipt of the news of the accident a special train was got ready and proceeded to the scene of the disaster, conveying a quantity of material and implements for repairing the line. This train left Oamaru at ten minutes to ten o’clock, and had on board Mr S. Loring (district station master), and Mr Burnett (railway engineer), accompanied by a gang of workmen. It proceeded at a rapid rate, but at Otepopo a stoppage was made in order to ascertain whether or not the line was open, or whether or not an engine had been sent on with the passengers of the disabled train. At Oamaru Dr Smith, the local surgeon for the Railway Benefit Society, joined the party. The train left again at 11,15 a.m., having been detained pending the receipt of telegraphic news. The accident occurred at 0.30, close to Rowley’s crossing, about a mile north of Pukeiviti. The goods train had passed Hampden at three minutes past six, and, after going some distance, one of the centre trucks got off the line and ran along in this manner for a considerable distance before the train was pulled up. To the fact of the goods train having to stop may he attributed the pleasing fact that the accident was not of a more serious nature, for the place where the accident occurred is one of the worst on the line, the curves being both numerous and short, rendering it impossible for those on the trains to see far ahead. The first object to meet the view on nearing the scene of the accident was a large quantity of grain and some d-bris frem one of the colliding engines. Near these lay the driver of the passenger train, James White, whose left leg was found to be broken in two places below the knee—both simple fractures. His leg had been bandaged up by some of those on the ground, but the poor fellow must have suffered tremendously, having lain in the open air from half-past six o’clock until nearly one o’clock. . He was attended by Dr Smith, and, having been placed in a carriage on a mattrass and brought to Oamaru by the return special, was at once removed by express to the Hospital, Mr Loming having telegraphed to have everything ready. It was almost impossible to obtain anything like reliable information as to what took place when the engines met. So far as can be ascertained the goods train had been brought to a standstill owing to the truck being off the line. Before they had time to send a man ahead to warn the passenger train from Palmerston that the line was blocked up, the up-train came up. The driver at once put on the brake and shut off steam, but it was impossible to avoid a collision. The stoker jumped off the engine without any injury, but White, the driver, in getting off, missed the lower steps, and in coming to the ground broke his left leg. No other persons were injured to any extent worth noticing, though there wore some of them bruised. The telegram received by Mr Bering stated that some of the passengers were injured, but this was altogether wrong, and gave a more serious appearance to the accident than was actually the case. Fortunately, there were no passengers on the train, while the fact that the goods train was not in motion, tended greatly to lessen the effects of the collision. Still, both engines appear to have suffered to some extent, more particularly that of the goods train. Large pieces of iron, holts, etc., belonging to it arc lying about in all directions. When we arrived at the scene of the accident the lino was again clear, both trains having proceeded to Palmerston, so that there w ill be n > stoppage of the traffic. As one result of the accident, the express train from the South was a long way behind t’mo, having been detained iu consequence of the line having been blocked. The special train reached Oamaru on its return at a quarter past two o’clock.

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Bibliographic details

RAILWAY ACCIDENT., Evening Star, Issue 4857, 25 September 1878

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RAILWAY ACCIDENT. Evening Star, Issue 4857, 25 September 1878