On this day in Yorkshire 1947

Whole Families Involved in train Wreck

THE death toll in yesterday’s Doncaster railway disaster has tonight risen to 18, and among the 50 people lying injured in Doncaster Infirmary are some whose condition is grave.

In a number of cases whole families were involved in the disaster, and not until late this afternoon, when relatives or friends arrived in Doncaster, were all the injured identified.

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Among South Yorkshire casualties were nine Sheffield people all related. Two were killed and the other seven taken to hospital.

The crash, which occurred at Balby Junction Signal Box, about half a mile south of Doncaster Station, was between two L.N.E.R. Leeds and Bradford bound expresses — the 1.10 p.m. and 1.25 p.m. from King’s Cross — packed to capacity with holidaymakers returning their homes.

One train ran into the rear of the other, and four carriages of the first train were completely smashed.

Two other carriages of this train were also damaged, while the engine and the leading three coaches of the second train were derailed.

Mr. Ronald Huffinley, of Burley Wood Crescent, Leeds, 28-year-old fireman the 1.25 train from King’s Cross, said to-night that they were coasting at about 40 m.p.h. at the time of the crash.

“We did not see the stationary train until we were less than 100 yards off because of a bend In the line. ’As soon as I did see it I shouted to the driver, ‘Stop, stop!’

He threw on the brakes immediately, but we were ploughing into the 1.10 before we had gathered any brake power at all.

“I clung on as the cab filled with smoke and fire. The last I saw of my driver was when he was thrown on the cab floor. Then we could not see each other any longer.

The next thing I knew was that the train had stopped and I was lying on the ground outside the cab.

I was shaken but not injured. I picked myself up, climbed back into the cab, and found my driver sitting on the coal in the tender.

He was badly shaken and had scalds and burns.”

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