On August 12, 1939, a shocking train accident occurred in Nevada. It claimed the lives of 24 people and injured 121 others. Although the police have made great efforts to track down, the truth of the matter has not been clarified.
At that time, “City of San Francisco” was considered the most luxurious ship in the United States in particular and the world in general. It departed in 1938 on the connection from Chicago to Oakland.
The train cost $2 million to build, with kelly blue seats and metallic ink-printed signage. The windows are sprayed with a special polarizing color to filter out glare. With unprecedented speed, the train saves passengers up to 19 hours traveling from the East Coast to the West Coast.
Two women in the sleeping compartment of the City of San Francisco ship.
That day, engineer Ed Hecox thought the train would arrive at the station later than expected. But because he was so familiar with the area (he had been transporting passengers across the American West since he was a wagon driver in the 1880s), Hecox realized that the Nevada stretch could be a “shortcut” to get there. station on time. Thus, he accelerated the City of San Francisco to 144km/h.
During the above time, the kitchen wagon is cleaning up after dinner. Many passengers in the carriage realized the train had just changed course after leaving Carlin. Two beer bottles fell to the ground as the train turned around, and one woman was even thrown from her seat.
Cranes work at the crash site of the City of San Francisco train owned by South Pacific Railroad.
At 9:33 p.m., while speeding toward bridge 4 over the Humboldt River Gorge, Hecox saw a rolling brush (a type of weed) on the left side of the track.
According to Mr. Hecox at the civil trial in 1941: “That grass caught my attention, any grass does. But when I hit the rolling grass, I felt like I had hit something.”
Hecox braked, but it was too late: City of San Francisco derailed. Following the momentum, the carriages on the engine side of the locomotive continued to cross the bridge. However, at the back, 5 cars were separated from the group, including Presidio (kitchen car), Mission Dolores (dining car), Embarcadero (lounge), Twin Peaks and Chinatown (passenger car). They all rushed down to the riverbank below.
“My first thought was: ‘How many people have died'”Hecox recalls.
In the wreckage were 24 passengers and the ill-fated flight attendant. Survivors had to crawl over the bodies of their victims to escape. Because the space was too dark, they were forced to burn some things in the rubble to be able to observe. At that time, the rescue team was still too far away.
As soon as the train stopped, Hecox started running to the nearest town. Sadly, there were no phone booths or people in that place. It was not until Harney reached that the alarm went off. Volunteers followed Hecox back to the scene where more than 170 people were injured. It was a long night for them. It was not until the next morning that the lifeboat arrived.
The lifeboat included investigators from the South Pacific Railroad, local law enforcement and the FBI. They rushed to the site of the accident – which had become devastated due to the excessive movement of the locals, causing traces of the land to be lost. Some people even brought the wreckage of trains and tracks back as “souvenirs”. All seemed hopeless.
However, the police quickly found the cause. At the section leading up to the bridge, a 9-meter-long track was nailed, causing the track to turn inward. The rolling grass that Hecox saw had been tied to the track by the bad guys to cover the gap. They also paint brown around the crime scene to hide their behavior.
The train carrying passengers from Chicago to Oakland derailed in 1939.
The epic “City of San Francisco” derailed near Carlin, Nevada, killing more than two dozen people and injuring more than 100 others.
To do this, the bad guys had to use up to 40kg of tools, and had to transport it from the highway several hours away from the scene, said Dan O’Connell, South Pacific Railroad’s chief agent. lake. During the day there will be 4 hours without trains passing through this area, so this is likely the time they are in action.
An investigator re-enacted, and concluded that this required at least 4 heavy tools. The bad guy was forced to pull a rail of nearly 700kg, deviated 12.7cm from the original position and then nailed it again.
The Chronicle wrote: “To do that, he must have the strength of a giant.” Many investigators agreed with this opinion. This job requires at least 2 muscular men, with a little knowledge of railways.
Yet, instead of locating rail-related suspects, detectives interrogate ordinary people: people who have been left homeless by the Great Depression in America.
First, they looked for a “suspicious” figure who was said to have appeared near the scene a few hours earlier, with no ears.
The above information was broadcast, making Bob La Duceur (35 years old) a suspect. However, he only had one ear and half a foot, unable to afford to participate in the crime. He also proved he was more than 400km away on the day of the accident, so the police released him.
Next, investigators were sent to every “slum” in California, Utah, and Nevada. The Associated Press reports that police are also keeping an eye on anyone staying in the Harney area.
The most mysterious train accident
Most likely, this could be the action of some people who have a grudge against the railway company or certain individuals on the train. Many others believe that this was actually a case of negligence, the train derailed due to unsafe speed. However, the FBI’s discovery of the tracks and sabotage tools hidden in the Humboldt River seems to have disproved that.
In the end, more than 93,000 people were interviewed by detectives. After the outbreak of World War II, this case was put on hold. Aside from the 1940 civil suit that compensated some injured passengers, survivors from the City of San Francisco had no say in the incident.
Mr. FS Foote Jr., with broken jaw and sternum, punctured lung, internal bleeding, concussion and rib fracture, was compensated $7,500 (equivalent to more than 170 million dong at current exchange rate), but also just enough to pay the hospital bills. In addition, he said the railroad had refunded the $5 upgrade cost of his City of San Francisco ticket.
Until now, the mystery of the City of San Francisco remains unanswered.
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