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Almost fifty people are killed in an horrific train wreck near Angola, New York.


An express train with three first class passenger cars heading from Cleveland for connections to Buffalo on the Lake Shore Line had begun to cross the Big Sister Bridge near Angola, New York when the two rear cars derailed and careened down towards the creek below.  The second from last car halted after an impact and only one person was fatally injured.  The last car, however, fell all the way and burst into flames.  Of the approximately fifty people in that car, only two survived.  The horrific nature of these deaths added to the evolving national call for increased railway safety and led to important reforms in both technology and regulations.  Incidentally, the twenty-eight year old John D. Rockefeller was due to travel on the train but, having taken his seat in the last car, left the train for a moment and it pulled out without him, probably saving his life.  (By John Osborne) 

Source Citation: 

Charity Vogel, The Angola Horror: The Train Wreck That Shocked the Nation and Tranformed American Railroads (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 2013), pp. 40-41 and 104-116.

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