Tuesday, October 8, 2013

'L Fire Panic' @ Loyola Station 1958

The following account was stamped in red, June 20th 1958. (it corresponds to the photo of onlookers and first responders on the tracks)

Flash of fire that accompanied derailment of L-subway car at Loyola Station caused a panic among evening rush-hour passengers. Ten persons were injured in the pushing and shoving for the exits. Mrs. Anna Gold (above), treated for injuries at St. Francis Hospital, says she was pushed off platform by screaming fellow passengers. She landed on her knees beside tracks. (Sun-Times Photos by Bill Paues).

Another strip of old paper repeats the first three lines and accompanied the uncropped photo above. Two other lines refer to the photo. Arrow locates area where fire started. Circles locate windows broken by riders and firemen. Perhaps the photo that ran in the paper had circles and arrows, this one doesn't. The old strip of newspaper also had the name Bill Paues crossed out and another name not mentioned in the other snippet, Harold Shapiro (as photographer).

Please continue reading for more words and photos

These three photos from the Loyola Subway Station L fire story are for sale on E-Bay. Each one will set you back fifteen bucks.

Inside the Loyola Subway Station L Car.

Looking up towards the damaged L car from street level.

And the accident scene on the tracks.

This writer did not realize that the old L train cars had small windows that one could hand crank open. There are times when it would be very useful to open a window on the L (hot days, smelly days or passengers, smoke, etc.)

If you look carefully at the photo inside the train car you will also notice that old fashion door closers (usually used for houses) shut the doors that led to the next car.

Its also shocking to realize that plate glass was used for train windows as well as car windshields. The jagged glass after an accident was definitely hazardous to your health! No mention here at least at how dangerous it was for the common man to hanging near or on the track when you have an active electric third rail.

It appears that the fire started on one of the cushions. The one on the floor that the man is inspecting. And this car looks to have been headed north to Morse. Hard to say though with few context clues.

The street level photo looks like it was taken from Loyola avenue as it travels in a Northwest direction. The fences are still in place today, but they run from ground level all the way to the top.

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