National Affairs: Act of the Devil

The next night, an eastbound five-car passenger train plunged off the Pennsylvania main-line track along the Ohio River, near Baden, Pa. The locomotive toppled over on its side. Coal from the tender avalanched into the cab, buried the engineer. Coaches full of shocked and tumbled people rolled into the river.

While rescuers worked in a driving sleet storm, investigators discovered that someone had drawn the spikes from the rail nearest the river, found a wrecking bar, bright with use, beside the tracks. The toll: 114 injured, five dead, including the engineer.

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