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DREADFUL ACCIDENT AT
BLACKFRIARS BRIDGE, LONDON.


    A shocking accident occurred on Monday evening, about seven o'clock
at Blackfriars Bridge, by which the lives of several persons were
sacrificed, but the extent of the calamity had not been ascertained
when the account was prepared.

    A rowing match called the "Bankside Regatta" had been going on all
the afternoon, the parties engaged in which rowed from Blackfriars
Bridge to London Bridge and back. This match caused a great number of
persons to congregate on Blackfriar's Bridge, and all the available
space where a sight of the rowers obtained.

    It is customary with steam boat managers, on Sundays, when from
4,000 to 5,000 persons pass over the stages, to employ a man to keep
off pick pockets and children, and in consequence of so many
trespassing upon the stage one of the pier men was appointed to this
duty. As fast, however, as he cleared the thoroughfare the crowd
occupied it again, and at length became abusive, on account of the
man's apparent ill nature in depriving them of the opportunity of
witnessing the regatta; and it would appear that at the time of the
starting of the competitors for the "last grand heat" in which, by
reason of the ebb tide, they came closer to the city side of the river,
the crowd braved all restraint, and insisted on occupying the stage,
when the man, despairing of clearing it, or perhaps attracted by the
race as well as others, left them in possession.

    This stage was about thirty-two feet long, four feet wide, and two
inches thick, made of sound wood, and has lately been repaired; but
from the state of the tide, it being just after high water, it became
almost level with the floating barge, or "dummy," to the centre of
which it led, and, in consequence of the dead weight of no less than
one hundred persons on it, just as the boats were starting and every
one straining to catch a sight, the stage snapped off at about twelve
feet from the stone platform, and fell down with a terrific crash.

    Then followed a most heart-rending scene, - men, women, boys and
girls and even mere infants, went head long one over the other into the
water. The rush of the people on the landing place above, ignorant of
the cause of the dreadful shrieks of those struggling for life, and the
equally loud cries of those who saw the catastrophe from the bridge
above, added, we fear, to the casualties by precipitating from the
platform those who were on its edge, from such a height and in such a
direction as to injure them in their descent, by their falling against
the fragments of the broken stage. Above twenty were in the water, at
almost the last gasp.

    With great promptitude and presence of mind planks were sent adrift
for the drowning to lay a hold of, and many persons who were in the
barges jumped into the water to rescue. Some were, of course
immediately drawn out without greater damage than wetting. Among them
were a French gentleman and lady, who were endeavouring to make their
way through the crowd to the outer pier, when the stage gave way. This
gentleman gallantly supported his wife, and was the means of saving
her. They immediately departed for their destination. Others picked up
were taken to their homes by their respective friends in various stages
of exhaustion.

    A boy was saved by a waterman, who plunged into the water and swam
with him to a coal barge. In a short time the struggle was over; those
who had not been rescued had disappeared, but how many no one could
tell; but it was too well know that many had perished. The barges and
the pier were obstacles to search. No time, however, was lost in
bringing in the Royal Humane Society's drags into operation and the
most praiseworthy zeal was evinced by all classes of persons, the
police hastening to the shop, and as usual in all cases of accident,
rendering effective assistance by keeping back the crowd.

    Up to eleven o'clock Monday evening, the bodies of four persons had
only been recovered. These were a boy four years old, a girl, ten years
old, and a girl aged seventeen; the children of Mr. BRAIDCOT, butter
and cheese dealer, in Newgate Market, and all of whom perished in his
presence. The name of the other sufferer is Maria POLLESTON, fringe
maker, Clerkenwell, aged twenty. At midnight the tide was so low, that
the police were able to make a search among the coal barges for others;
but up to that hour, the search was fruitless. Their impression,
however, is, that there are many persons still missing, and that the
coal barges are resting upon them. - Morning Herald.
 
 
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