N&W in 1911--Tunnel accident

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Mon Nov 22 22:51:25 EST 2010

Bluefield Daily Telegraph
April 25, 1911

Car Loaded With Concrete Slips From Trucks, Falling Over Four Workmen
One man was killed; one will die; and four others sustained broken limbs in the Big Four tunnel, when the body of a concrete "wagon" or car loaded with concrete slid from the car trucks and fell over on six or more men who were caught underneath the fifteen tons of wet, slushy, heavy concrete which was being used in lining the tunnel being erected at Big Four to shorten the distance between that place and Norwood, on the Norfolk and Western.
All of the men who were killed or injured were foreigners and were employed by Boxley & Haley, contractors. Five of the men were taken to the miners hospital at Welch where it was found, according to our Welch correspondent, that one received internal injuries from which he will die while the others received broken limbs. It is also stated that several other men were caught when the wagon body slid off but they received minor injuries which did not necessitate their removal to the hospital. The accident occurred somewhere about 1 o'clock and the cause could not be ascertained last night, as it was impossible to reach the contractors over the telephone. Reports brought to this city stated that two men were killed by the overturn of the body but so far as could be learned by telephone from Kimball but one man was killed outright.
The tunnel in which the accident occurred is one of several which have been under construction for about a year and all are intended to compensate curves, shorten distance and reduce grades. It is expected that all the work on these tunnels will be completed sometime this year.
Outside of an accident at Kimball, this is the first serious accident which has been reported from any of the tunnels during the period of construction.
The car containing the concrete was on a temporary track and is hauled by a dinkey engine. It makes trips between the inside and outside of the tunnel, coming out to the concrete mixer where it receives its load which is carried inside where the men are at work lining the interior of the tunnel. It is supposed that the accident occurred when the car was being dumped.
Gordon Hamilton
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