CATASTROPHE: Crash at Dunkirk

It was 10:18 at night. In a railway control tower at Dunkirk, Ohio, Operator Cliff Schwartzkopf waited for the Pennsylvania's Pennsylvanian, eastbound from Chicago to New York.

Through the light snowfall, he saw the Pennsylvanian's headlight coming toward him at some 70 miles an hour. Suddenly, from a passing freight train, a half-ton cylinder head was blown from the locomotive, landed squarely on the track before the oncoming express. From his tower Schwartzkopf saw the Pennsylvanian's headlight weaving and rocking. The locomotive left the rails, skidded on its side 200 feet to crash into the control tower.

Schwartzkopf, dazed but unhurt,...

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