Collision Damage & Loss of Life
After the crash, diesel fuel spilled from the locomotives and ignited, engulfing the locomotives, the baggage car, and the day coach in flames. The 2 crew members in each of the locomotives were killed.
Out of the 36 occupants of the day, 18 coach were killed. The contents of a grain car were propelled on top of the car, helping to smother the fire somewhat. Had the sulphur cars, for instance, been at the front of the train, the death toll might have been higher.
The observation dome car behind the day coach suffered serious damage and was also hit by a freight car. One of its occupants was killed. The others were able to escape either through a broken window in the dome or through the hole left by the freight car. The 2 sleepers following the dome car derailed and were thrown on their sides. There were no deaths in these cars, but there were several injuries. The 3 passenger cars at the rear of the train did not derail, but there were some injuries.
As the accident unfolded, the cars on the freight train piled up on each other, resulting in a large pile of rolling stock. The 3 freight locomotives and the first 76 cars of the train were either destroyed or damaged.