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NEWS IN BRIEF.

_... TERRIBLE DISASTER AT…

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TERRIBLE DISASTER AT LIVERPOOL. SIX LIVES LOST. A deplorable disaster, the first accounts of the cause and details of which showed wide variation but from which has resulted the loss of several lives, occurred on the Liverpool Overhead Electric Railway on Monday evening. The railway extends for seven miles along the docks, running from Sea. forth, at the north end of the line of docks to what is known as the Dingte, 'a residential neigh- bourhood in the south, about a mile below the southernmost dock. The line, therefore, serves not only for the conveyance of workpeople to the docks, but for that of well-to-do persons living in the neighbourhood of the South parks. The Dingle Station is approached from the nearest dock—the Herculaneum -by a tunnel 800 yards long, bored through the sandstone rock, a hundred feet or so below the level of the street, which is reached by gradually sloping subways. A train of three coaches left Seaforth at five o'clock with a con. siderable number of passengers. Others joined on the route, but by the time of the arrival at Hereulaneum Dock it is believed that there were only about seven passengers in it. All went well until the train had reached the tunnel and pro- ceeded through it to within about 80 yards of the Dingle Station. Then the darkness of the tunnel was illuminated by two brilliant electric flashes in rapid succession. One of the electric motors had fused. This brought the train to a standstill, and in a few minutes flames appeared on the floors of the carriages. The whole train was rapidly enveloped, and the alarmed passengers dropped in confusion five feet down into the tunnel. Then the electric lights went out. The flames spread to a stack of sleepers soaked in creosote which were stored in the tunnel. Fanned by a strong breeze blowing through the tunnel, which had converted it into a veritable chimney, the fire grew with marvellous rapidity. The station platforms became ignited, and in a few minutes train, tunnel and underground station were blazing, while dense suffocating smoke rolled up in volumes elsewhere. Passengers and officials struggled through to the platform, many being burnt in the effort. Some were helped out more or less injured, but six were either burned to death or suffocated. The Board of Trade have appointed Lieut.-Col. H A Yorke, R.E., Chief Inspecting Officer of Railways, to hold an inquiry as to the accident. Colonel Yorke, assisted by Mr A P Trotter, the Electrical Adviser to the Board of Trade, opened his inquiry on Friday.

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