Leeds-Manchester train crashes

Six persons were killed and many injured in this collision between the Leeds-Manchester express...
Six persons were killed and many injured in this collision between the Leeds-Manchester express train and a locomotive at Diggle, in the north of England. — Otago Witness, 4.9.1923
LONDON, July 5: Hardly had an express train emerged from a long tunnel in the Pennine range this forenoon when at full speed it crashed sideways into a light engine at Diggle Junction, hurling it 30 yards.

The driver was killed, and the fireman found unconscious and injured on the line. Four passengers are dead. The funnel of the first locomotive flew off and the locomotive itself was derailed. Its fireman was killed and the driver injured. The second locomotive was forced back over the tender, telescoping the first two cars. Its driver and fireman escaped with a shaking. Steam from the engines poured in through the broken windows of the carriages, adding to the confusion of the passengers, several of whom were pinned under the wreckage which was piled on both lines, thus stopping the traffic.

Fire chief’s alarm call

In submitting the annual report of the Dunedin Fire Brigade, Superintendent Napier stated: "It is more than astonishing to me to think that, with the many new business premises and renovations of old commercial premises, owners are content to risk serious dislocation of business, if not total loss of their property, rather than incur the small cost of installing automatic protection, by which means an extra safeguard is ensured. 

"My opinion is that no large building is even moderately safe from total demolition unless protected by an alarm capable of immediately transmitting warning to the fire brigade, if not actually getting to work in the matter of extinguishing an incipient blaze. I commend this matter to the board and the property owners of the city for more than passing notice. Our fire losses over a term of years would undoubtedly show considerable shrinkage were more of our large business houses so protected."

Tunnel opening soon

The opening of the Otira tunnel is definitely fixed for August 4. It is expected that there will be 200 visitors from the North Island, and the Union Company is making special arrangements for their accommodation in the Wahine. 

The train journey will be commenced at 8.15 on the morning of August 5. Among the guests to be invited will be Sir Joseph Ward, Sir William Hall-Jones, and the Hon Roderick McKenzie — a former Minister of Works. The West Coast contingent will arrive before the eastern excursionists. They will come through the tunnel and then return to the Otira side where the opening ceremony will take place. The whole proceeding will be brief, as not more than two and a-half hours can be devoted to the ceremony.

Influenza’s deadly toll

The conditions that have brought about an outbreak of influenza with mild results among the younger members of the community have had a more serious effect on the aged and many of their number have succumbed.

In one home for old men and women in the city 11 deaths are said to have occurred within the past fortnight, and reference to the columns of the press shows that the work of the Grim Reaper has been general in town and country. For the week ended yesterday 40 deaths of people over 60 years of age were advertised in the Otago Daily Times.

ODT, 17.7.1923  (Compiled by Peter Dowden)