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The explosion of Engine 955

"His body was almost cut in half and the entrails protruded... The legs were held to the body by strips of flesh. His remains were gathered up in a piece of canvas."



In the fall of 1891, one of the most horrific railroading tragedies in Schuylkill County history occurred at Crow Hollow Switch, near St. Clair, when a  Reading Railroad locomotive exploded, seemingly without explanation. While the explosion claimed only four lives, it rained wreckage in a thirty yard radius and easily could've resulted in more casualties had the explosion taken place in a more populated area.

Miraculously, one of the crewmen managed to escape with only minor bumps and bruises, while the bodies of his colleagues were literally blown apart by the blast; the mangled body of the engineer was found one hundred yards away.

Here is one account of the explosion which appeared in the Shenandoah Evening Herald on October 20, 1891.


FATAL ACCIDENT- A Locomotive Explodes and Kills Four Men

Engine 955, of …

A child's prophetic dream

A strange coincidence, or a message from beyond the grave? The following is from the May 6, 1909 edition of the Cincinnati Enquirer.