Posts tagged disaster

Frozen remains of the Barton Hotel, 644 W Madison, 1955, Chicago. 
29 people died in the fire.

Frozen remains of the Barton Hotel, 644 W Madison, 1955, Chicago. 

29 people died in the fire.

The Goodyear Wingfoot Air Express prepares for takeoff from Grant Park, 1919, Chicago.
Moments later, the dirigible would crash through the skylight at the Illinois Trust and Savings Bank at LaSalle and Jackson, killing 10 bank employees and 3 passengers.
As a result of the tragedy, Grant Park was closed forever as an airfield.At least until Meigs Field opened at Northerly Island.

The Goodyear Wingfoot Air Express prepares for takeoff from Grant Park, 1919, Chicago.

Moments later, the dirigible would crash through the skylight at the Illinois Trust and Savings Bank at LaSalle and Jackson, killing 10 bank employees and 3 passengers.

As a result of the tragedy, Grant Park was closed forever as an airfield.

At least until Meigs Field opened at Northerly Island.

Before: A crowd watches the Stockyards burn.

After: The aftermath.

1934, Chicago.

In 1960, 6 pedestrians were killed when a car plowed through a crowd crossing at Randolph and Franklin.

In 1960, 6 pedestrians were killed when a car plowed through a crowd crossing at Randolph and Franklin.

The city in ruins, 1871, Chicago.

The city in ruins, 1871, Chicago.

The next day, April 16, 1912, The Tribune gets it right (minus a hundred - plus fatalities).
Corbis Images

The next day, April 16, 1912, The Tribune gets it right (minus a hundred - plus fatalities).

Corbis Images

The Chicago Day Book erroneously reports that the Titanic did not sink and all aboard survived, c.April 15, 1912, Chicago.

The Chicago Day Book erroneously reports that the Titanic did not sink and all aboard survived, c.April 15, 1912, Chicago.

Pulling bodies from the Eastland disaster, c.1915, Chicago.
As posted previously, 844 people lost their lives when the SS Eastland capsized on the south bank of the Chicago River between Clark and LaSalle streets.

Pulling bodies from the Eastland disaster, c.1915, Chicago.

As posted previously, 844 people lost their lives when the SS Eastland capsized on the south bank of the Chicago River between Clark and LaSalle streets.

On July 21, 1919, a Goodyear blimp, the Wingfoot Air Express, took flight from Grant Park headed for the White City Amusement Park. Minutes later, while flying over the loop, the dirigible exploded.

On fire, the airship fell 1,200 feet. The ship was directly over the Illinois Trust and Savings bank at LaSalle and Jackson and fell through the main lobby’s skylight, killing 13 employees and crew members.

If it had been mid-day and not five minutes before closing, the casualties would have been much greater.

As a result of the crash, Grant Park was closed as an airstrip and aviation traffic over the city was halted.

Makeshift morgue after the Eastland disaster, c.1915, Chicago. 844 lives were lost.
This warehouse would later become Harpo Studios. Hauntings are commonly reported…

Makeshift morgue after the Eastland disaster, c.1915, Chicago. 844 lives were lost.

This warehouse would later become Harpo Studios. Hauntings are commonly reported…

The aftermath at O’Hare after the crash of American Airlines flight 191 in 1979. All DC-10’s around the world were grounded. Until the terrorist attacks of 9/11, this disaster remained the deadliest air tragedy in the US, with 271 lives lost.

The aftermath at O’Hare after the crash of American Airlines flight 191 in 1979. All DC-10’s around the world were grounded. Until the terrorist attacks of 9/11, this disaster remained the deadliest air tragedy in the US, with 271 lives lost.

The Orpheum Theater, before and after the roof collapse, c.1907, Chicago.

Ida and Jean Hippach, Chicago mother and daughter survivors of the Titanic, c.1912.

Ida and Jean Hippach, Chicago mother and daughter survivors of the Titanic, c.1912.

Water-intake crib disaster:

On January 20, 1909, during the construction of a water intake tunnel for the city of Chicago, a fire broke out on a temporary water crib, used to access an intermediate point along the tunnel. Water cribs are offshore structures that collect water from close to the bottom of a lake to supply a pumping station onshore. The temporary water crib was located a mile and a half off shore in Lake Michigan, and was being used to construct a new submarine water tunnel to Chicago. There were about 95 men working on the crib when the fire began, in a dynamite magazine stored in a small out building. This then set fire to the wooden dormitory that housed the tunnel workers. With literally nowhere to run to safety, 46 workers survived the fire by jumping into the lake and climbing onto ice floes on the frozen lake. However, about 60 men died, with 29 men burned beyond recognition.

Most of the remaining men drowned or froze to death in the lake, and were not recovered. One of the workmen made his way through the smoke to a telephone that communicated with the shore station. His frantic call awakened the drowsy attendant on shore who heard the following call for help: “The crib is on fire! For God’s sake send help at once or we will be burned alive! The tug” — At this point communication ceased. On shore, through the fog, the flames of the blaze could be seen rising from the water crib. The crew of the tugboat Morford made a heroic effort to save the men and fought through the ice, getting as close to the site of the fire and explosion as they could get. They rescued a few survivors in a boat, and plucked others from the water or the ice floes.

The Lady Elgin, which on Sept. 8, 1860, sank off the coast just north of Chicago. Until the Eastland disaster, this was the single greatest loss of life for one event in US history. More than 430 people perished.