Adrian to Honor Italian Immigrants killed in 1901 train crash

Jun 24, 2016 1125

On Thanksgiving Eve in 1901, two trains No. 4 and No. 13 collided near Adrian Michigan, killing over 100 Italian immigrants who had recently come to the United States for a better life.

On impact, cars on Train 4 exploded but were saved from fire by the quick thinking of the Train's engineer, Aaron T. Strong.

Train 13's cars were shattered on impact but instantly caught fire when an overhead kerosene lamp fell to the floor of one of the cars blocking the escape of those now trapped inside. Fire burning at over 2,000 degrees instantly cremated all those trapped inside. Local residents of both Seneca and Sand Creek rushed to the aid of the victims but could only watch in horror as the white hot flames consumed the wreckage. Fire burned into the night and could be seen up to 5 miles in all directions.

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