There was a jolt as the train approached the bridge abutment. The rear sleeper jumped the tracks and fell from the bridge onto the frozen river 40 feet below, taking with it the three cars ahead of it. These cars uncoupled from the front of the train, which was able to get off the bridge to safety. The impact of the fall scattered the coaches, and they almost instantly caught fire, likely from the burning stoves and oil lamps on board. The burning cars then set fire to the bridge, and it, too, collapsed onto the ice.
|The Paine house where the wounded were first taken, |
and where Conductor Strutevant died February 6.
|South abutment from the ice, |
showing broken trucks, etc., in foreground
Ask for the "Hartford, Vermont Bridge Disaster" photo file and the "Hartford (Vermont) Bridge Wreck" vertical file to find out more about this incident.