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Tragedy Strikes as Train Incident Claims Fireman's Life in Limerick |

Tragedy Strikes as Train Incident Claims Fireman’s Life in Limerick

A sombre air hangs over Limerick as a fatal train accident unfolded yesterday evening on the Great Southern and Western Railway between Birdhill and Killaloe. The incident claimed the life of a young fireman, John Conlan, who succumbed to severe scalding injuries sustained during the tragic event.

The ill-fated train, en route from Ballina to Birdhill, experienced a catastrophic derailment. The locomotive left the permanent way, careening into a dyke and toppling over, bringing the tender and a composite carriage crashing down with it.

The driver, Wm. Carroll, and the fireman, John Conlan, found themselves trapped between the engine and the turf of the dyke. Swift action by a passenger named Andrew Madden, who happened to be on board, led to the extrication of both men. Carroll escaped with relatively minor injuries, but Conlan, unfortunately, suffered severe scalding from the steam and sustained a deep wound in the thigh.

The injured were promptly attended to, with Carroll being sent to Killaloe and Madden and Conlan rushed to Limerick. Upon their arrival, the Corporation Fire Brigade met them at the station, swiftly transporting them to Barrington’s Hospital.

Dr Holmes, the resident surgeon at Barrington’s Hospital, worked tirelessly to attend to the injured. Madden, though scalded about the head and face, was fortunate to escape severe injuries. However, Conlan’s condition proved critical from the outset. The young fireman, aged around 30 and reportedly unmarried, suffered severe scalding and injuries to the head, face, and body, coupled with a deep wound in the thigh.

Despite the medical team’s best efforts, Conlan’s injuries proved insurmountable, and he tragically succumbed to them at 3 o’clock in the afternoon, just two hours after being admitted to the hospital.

The incident has left the community in shock, mourning the loss of a young life in the line of duty. The railway authorities are conducting a thorough investigation into the circumstances leading to the derailment, seeking to understand the sequence of events that resulted in this tragic outcome.

As Limerick grapples with the aftermath of this unfortunate incident, the focus turns to supporting the affected families and ensuring a comprehensive review of safety measures on the railway to prevent such heart-wrenching accidents in the future. The tight-knit community stands united in grief, reflecting on the fragility of life and the inherent risks that come with the operation of vital transportation infrastructure.

Irish Independent – Friday 09 January 1914

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