Brakeman Galbraith Statement

Q. State if you w ere [sic] a brakeman on first No.8 on Friday, the day of the big flood.
A. Yes, sir.

Q. After your train arrived at Conemaugh, where was it placed?
A. We backed our train in on the river siding

Q. How long did you stay there?
A. W e [sic] staid there about an hour, I guess.

Q. Were you moved then?
A. Yes, sir, we were moved up on No. 1 siding almost opposite the telegraph office.

Q. Who w as [sic] your conductor?
A. Bell.

Q. Who was your fireman?
A. I don't know either the end near of the firmean; I w asn't [sic] acquainnted with them.

Q. When you were moved the last time, how far was your train away from the river bank?
A. There were five tracks in between; nearly 100 feet; something like that.

Q. W as [sic] the stram over its banks when you were moved the last time?
A. Yes sir, ithad [sic] washed the river siding awaw.

Q. With that exception, was it out on the bottom where the cars were?
A. No, sir.

Q. Well, now, what , if anything, did you hear about the South Frok [sic] dam being unsafe, and the water runnin g [sic] over it?
A. Well, we heard different reports, but the first report that we heard was some fellow running down along the street car track on the opposite side of the river; that was about noon. There were reports after that that the dam had bursted, and we didn't credit them an y [sic] longer. In fact, I never knew there was a dam there.

Q. Where was yourconductor [sic] in the monring, [sic] and up until the time the flood came?
A. He was in the telegraph office a portion of the time, and along the river bank a portion of the time watching the river and over at his train a portion of the time.

Q. Were the passengers on your train getting out and walking around?
A. A good many of the gentlemen were out; almost all of them and the majority of the lady passengers were in thetrain. [sic]

Q. Wasit [sic] raining very hard?
A. Yes,sir. [sic]

Q. Was there anybody about there, employes or passengers, that you know were apprehensive or fearful that the dam would break and create damage and destruction?
A. No, I believe not.

Q. There was no alarm?
A. No, sir.

Q. Where were you when the flood did come from the dam?
A. I was between the third coach and the smoking car.

Q. Were you standing on the platform?
A. Yes, sir.

Q. Where were you when the flo d [sic] struck it? What did you do with yourself?
A. I was standing on the platform and I heard that engine whistling, and I thought at first they had struck some one or about to strike them, and I jumped over across a couple cars that were right alongside of where we were, and I saw the flood coming. I ran back in the car, and threw open the doors and hollowed that the flood was coming ; to run.

Q. Who did you hollow to?
A. The passengers in the cars.

Q. How many cars were there on yourtrain?[sic]
A. There were four coaches and a Pullman car and then a coach on behind.

Q. Which of the cars was it that you warned?
A. The smoker and the car next to the smoker.

Q. And who warned the others back of that?
A. I didn't see anyone there. In fact, I didn't look around much to see. I hardly had time to notice; although I knew Mr. Moses was in the next car.

Q. Who was he?
A. He was a brakeman dead-headingover [sic] to Altoona.

Q. You don't know then that while you warned the passengers in the cars you mentioned, to go away, that anybody warned the others?
A. I didn't see any railroad employee except Harry Marshall, Train Despatch or at Blairsville. He ran through a couple of the cars after I had come into the car. I saw him go through the other end.

Q. And after you gave this noti ce, [sic] did the passengers get out of your train?
A. Yes, indeed.

Q. Did they all get away safely, or were some of them drowned?
A. Well, I saw a cripple (Isaw [sic] one of the brakemen help him a piece) and also a gentleman I didn't know , and I saw a lady and one child that was drowned. I overtook her on my way out, and the man was going back; she said she had left one child in the car. I took hold of her


Last updated: February 26, 2015

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