Old news from Armidale and New England

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Appalling Railway Accident

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Saturday 4 June 1887, The Maitland Mercury & Hunter River General Advertiser

(Armidale Express.)

A terrible accident, attended with fatal results, happened to a man named Michael Purcell, at Guyra, last Saturday night. The unfortunate man, who was a fettler on the line, was run over by the up mail train and killed. A coroner’s inquest was held on Monday. Later accounts show that the accident was one of a most frightful nature. The man is supposed to have been lying asleep between the rails, about 1½ miles on the southern side of Guyra, and 100 yards from his own home. The deceased was actually cut to pieces, and two bags of human remains were picked up by a search party from Guyra immediately the sad affair became known. The train was stopped shortly after it appeared to have run over something, and hair and portions of flesh and skull were found adhering to the last pair of wheels. It was then thought that the train had run over some beast, till further examination revealed the terrible truth, and human remains were found scattered for a distance of about 100 yards. From the hair and flesh adhering to only the hind wheels, it is conjectured that a great portion of the train must have passed over the deceased, who, waking from his sleep, attempted to rise, and was immediately cut to pieces by the roar of the train. The unfortunate deceased was a hard-working man, formerly an old resident of Walcha, and he leaves a wife and large family to mourn their sudden and untimely loss. We learn that the unfortunate wife fainted away on hearing the awful truth, and now lies in a very precarious condition. Mr. W. M. Stevenson and other residents of Guyra, together with the railway officials, are to be commended for their promptitude in turning out to search for the remains of the deceased as soon as the calamity occurred.

Written by macalba

March 16, 2011 at 8:17 pm

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