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In northern England, a railway collision touches off four tons of gunpowder with fatal results.

Railroad Accidents, iconic image
02/26/1867

Near midnight in northwest England, near Clifton in present-day Cumbria, a northbound goods train derailed and two carriages blocked the southbound track as another freight train approached from that direction.  Unfortunately, one of the derailed cars happened to be carrying four tons of gunpowder and when the southbound locomotive struck it there was a massive and instant explosion that killed the crew of the colliding engine and was heard twenty miles away.  The contents of both trains were largely destroyed but since the incident occured in open country there was no further loss of life. (By John Osborne)

Source Citation: 

"Chronicle of Remarkable Occurences in 1867", The Annual Register or a View of the History and Politics of the Year 1867 (London: F. & J. Rivington, 1868), 28.

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How to Cite This Page: "In northern England, a railway collision touches off four tons of gunpowder with fatal results.," House Divided: The Civil War Research Engine at Dickinson College, http://hd.housedivided.dickinson.edu/node/46626.