Hide Articles List

8 articles on this Page

®nr Jønbøn Ciraspwfoeni.

TERRIBLE DISASTER ON THE CLYDE.

TERRIBLE SCENE AT A RAILWAY…

llfoalknicrws

EPITOME OF NEWS.

NARRATIVES OF SUBVIYOBS,

News
Cite
Share

NARRATIVES OF SUBVIYOBS, The following are accounts of the disaster given by some of the rescued men:— Henry O'Farrell, a rivetter, living at Govan, says —I was on board the vessel holding the launching flag. I heard the signal given to knock away the supports, and immediately the vessel moved off, I noticed that she was going very smartly, but paid no particular atten- tion to this until, in taking the water, the vessel heeled over to the port side. I threw the launching flag away and, thinking that perhaps the current hyl caused the vessel to c*ps>ize, I ran to the wheel along with the pilot, William Francis, a rigger, and another man whose name I do not know. The three of us worked hard at the wheel so as to counteract what we thought was the effect of the current. We turned it round several times, but it did not do any good the vessel was every moment going deeper down in the water, and, getting alarmed for my safety, I jumped off the stern into the water. I can swim, but not very well. I managed to keep my head above water, and shortly afterwards I waa pulled on board one of the tugs which were assisting at the launch. Alexander Crammond states :—I am a foreman joiner in the employment of the firm. I was on board the vessel waiting in case my services should be required for anything. I was on the forecastle head when the supporters were knocked away, and I paid atten- tion to the manner in which the ship left the ways. She seemed to go all right, but I noticed that she moved very quickly, more quickly than is usually the case. Almost drectly the keel touched the water I saw that the vessel was going to capsize, and I called out to a number of men standing near me, Look out, boys this is an awful business we will all be drowned." The next moment I was struggling in the water. I cannot swim at all, but I came to the surface and with a little difficulty succeeded in get- ting hold of a way block which was floating near. From Ibis I caught hold of one of the davits of the steamer, and get on to the side of her. She sank gradually, and I remained standing on her until the water was about up to my waist. I was taken off by I a tug. I had ehsrtra (,f about twenty men on board, and since the accident I have only Been three of them. John Russell, apainter, residing at Glasgow, says:— I had been working in the ship for about three weeks. I was standing about midships on the port side when the ship left the ways. She went down all right, but immediately on getting clear of the ways she went right over, just as if she were top heavy and had teo littie ballast. There were a lot of men standing about me at the time ahe went down. I caught hold of the rail on the port side, and when I saw that she was going to heel right over, I turned and went up the deck to the starboard side. I am a good swimmer, and I swam towards the Govan side of the river. Getting near the shore I was almost run down by the tug Hotspur, which was creating, but those on board saw me, ftnd I got out of the way; they threw me a lifebaoy, which I caught hold of. Another man, a rivetter, was in the water beside me at the time, aad as he was very ex- hausted and seemed to be sinking I gave him the pre- ference of the rope. We were then both pulled on board the Hotspur and saved. The deck of the steamer was crowded with men, and there were a great many engineers and joiners working below. It ia impossible that they can have been saved. The reason why there were so many on board was that tbey were trying to get the ship out of hand before the holidays commenced. I observed several men who were injured; some of them were bleeding, and I think might have been saved but for the injuries they had sustained. An eye-witness states: I was standing looking towards the yard. There was a considerable crowd of people standing along the river embankment, chiefly boys and girls. A number of persons were also col- lected in Messrs. Stephen's yard. They were all like myself waiting to see the vessel launched. All was in readiness when the ship moved away, and some of the people cheered. There appeared to be a large crowd on board, probably over 200 men at least, and I heard at the same time that some workmen were d"wn betow<t She slid down the ways very evenly and went into the water. No sooner, however, bad she got her own length into the stream than she canted and tumbled right over. In a moment or two she was clean out of sight. When she fell over her whole cargo of men and boys—there were a good many boys on board—tumbled with her into the water. I saw them like a mass on the surface of the river, and I saw some taken down in the suction caused by the submersion. I notieed, too, that the wood and other stuff slid off the vessel as she was falling, and came down smash on some of the drown- ing men. It must have struck them heavily, because I hear now that there was blood on some of those who got out safe. When the heap of men were all struggling, I heard shrieks and observed several sink. Those who did not go down clung to pieces of wood and other materials which floated from the deck when the accident happened. Two men were saved by hanging on to the smith's bellows. The scene was a fearful one, not to be forgotten by those who witnessed it. When the great crowd of human beings were struggling in the river, I saw among them six poor souls huddled together, scrambling and clutehing desperately at one another. This lasted for a few seaonds, and then they broke away from one another, but I could not tell whether aay of them were saved or n')t. I also saw three or four others trying to climb up the side of the vessel as she was going down, but just at the moment a gust of steam, from I think, the porthole, came rushing out, and they were obliged to let go and give up their attempt. I think that most of those who witnessed the sight from the shore were more or less appalled for a time and did not know what to do. There were many miraculous escapes and touching incidents. A joiner was cooped up in the narrow space known as the joiner's box, but he managed to extricate himself, and was saved. The body of a young man named Telfer was amongst the first to be recovered. Mr. D. C. Donaldson, a temperance lec- turer, saw the body as soon as it was taken into the mortuary, and thinking he recognised it, had the clothing examined, with the result thata card wasfound in one of the pockets bearing the name of Telfer. Mr. Donaldson at once undertook the melancholy duty of breaking the saa news to the dead man's relatives, and proceeded for this purpose to Telfer's house. The door was opened by the mother of the deceased, whom Mr. Donaldson asked if her son was in Govan. Ob, yes," she replied, "he went away down to see the launch; he's drowned, I know he's drowned." j His photograph was produced, and the visitor saw at once that the body of Govan was really that of this woman's son, and told her so as gently as he could. It then transpired that Mr. Telfer, whe is a dentist, had told his mcther where he was going, whereupon she begged of him to stay at home, as she had dreamed the previous night that something had happened to him. He went, nevertheless, with the saddest of results. Mr. Telfer was but twenty-one years of age, and began business on his own acoount only last week. At daybreak on Wednesday morning the melan- choly duty of searching for the bodies was resumed. As the corpses were landed one by one they were car- ried on ambulance stretchers to the Spar House, and there laid out on boards supported by trestles to await identification. Anxious fathers and brothers, grief-stricken mothers, and children sur- rounded the improvised mortuary throughout the entire night, heedless of the heavy rain and thunderstorm. At an early hour groups of undertakers were busily engaged in their task of coffin-making. As the dead were identified the bodies were removed to their homes by sorrowing friends and relations. As the morning wore on it became more and more painfully evident that the disaster has not in any degree been magnified. It is believed that the hold is full of dead bodies, and that the total number of those who have perished will reach the figure which was at first mentioned, viz., 150. The following telegram, addressed by Sir H, Pon- sonby to the Lord Provost of Glasgow, haB been re- cei ved "The Queen hopes that the account of the loss of life at the launch on the Clyde is exaggerated. Her Majesty, who is deeply grieved at the disaster, asks if you can give her any further information." The following reply has been sent by the Town Clerk to Sir Henry Ponsonby .— In the absence of the Lord Provost, who has been in London for some days on public business, your telegram has been received. Please convey to the Queen our deep and grateful appreciation of Her Majesty's kind inquiries. The number of persons who have lost their lives is still unknown, Fifty-two bodies have been recovered. The search is being actively prosecuted, and the result will be telegraphed to you to-morrowmorning. Her Majesty's kind expression of sympathy will be immediately communicated to the bereaved."

THE CHOLERA IN EGYPT.

[No title]