A terrible accident occurred on the evening of the 12th inst. on the Taff Vale Railway, three miles from Pontypridd. Twelve lives have been lost and serious injury done to a large number of persons. The half-past four train for Cardiff was proceeding along a sharp curve near Llantrissant Junction, when several carriages by some means went off the line and were overturned down a steep embankment near Treforest station. The train was full, as many were returning from their week's or fortnight's work. Besides these there were three carriages belonging to the Cambrian Railway full of holiday travellers. It was noticed that the train was going at a very high speed, with a view, it is believed, to make up for some delay at Pontypridd. At one side of the line the hill rises to a considerable height, while at the other side the embankment slopes down for some 50 yards. Some of those in the train had just realised that something unusual was about to happen, when the first six carriages left the line and rolled down the embankment, turning over and over in the fall. The loco- motive remained on the rails, so that the coupling must have either broken or become detached. Three carriages next after the Cambrian Company's also left the line and fell down the embankment, and others left the metals, but did not fall. The first of the carriages which left the rails, but did not go down the slope, rushed to the side next the hill-side. The carriages that fell down the embankment were broken to splinters, some of them being left with their

WHEELS IN THE AIR, and the passengers buried beneath the wreck were so firmly fixed that they could not be extricated until help arrived from the adjacent Treforest station. Mr. William Brace, the South Wales representative of the Miners' Federation of Great Britain, was a passenger in the ill-fated train, and had what might be termed a marvellous escape. When interviewed by a Press Association representative Mr. Brace said I looked into the Cambrian carriages when the train was at Pontypridd and saw that they were full up, so I had to go on till I came to a vacant place in one of the middle carriages. Had the first carriages been only partially filled I should undoubtedly have got into one of them. After we left Treforest, and perhaps half a mile this side of the station, and the train going at tremendous speed-we were travelling quite as fast as if we were in an express train-one of the party in the same compartment as myself said in an alarmed manner, I believe this train is going off the line.' In a moment we felt that the train was off the metals, and I then realised that we were being carried along towards the, edge of the embankment. I made frantic efforts to get out of the carriage on the opposite side, but found that the door on that side was locked. We came to a standstill, and when I sprang out I saw that the first three or four carriages bad gone down the embankment and were lying in a

CONFUSED MASS OF WRECKAGE at the bottom, the wheels of some being up in the air, and the poor unfortunate passengers buried beneath the ruins. There were clouds of dust, and the whole scene was one of the most terrible and indescribable, confusion. I never in my life witnessed a scene so appalling, and I trust I never may again. The air was rent with the shrieks of despair of women and children." NAMES OF THE DEAD. 'w The following is the list of those who were fatally injured, and whose remains were taken to Pontypridd. William Jones, a ganger, Blaenant, who leaves ,p widow and several children. John Davies, a smith, of Ferndale. William Williams, 25, single, smith, of Ferndale. T. W. Shopland, 27, Whitechurcb, near Cardiff. Mary Williams, an excursionist from Bootle, North Wales. W. A. Williams, solicitor, employed as chief clerk by W. Spickett, solicitor, Pontypridd, and residing near Llantrissant, who leaves a wife and two children. David Davies, butter merchant, Yatrad, married, f& r children.. William Attewell, 25, hawker, whose family, consisting of a wife and six children, are encamped on Whitchurch-common; and James Brann (sic BROWN), auctioneer, Scott-street, Cardiff, who leaves a wife and family. These, with deaths at Cardiff, bring number of fatalities to 12. The Press Association's Cardiff correspond the following:

LIST OF INJURED who were admitted to the infirmary there William Henry Prosser, 21, collier, single, injured left shoulder and left knee. Edward Williams, bruised hand, cut thigh, abdominal injury. Lewis Howells, 10, scalp wounds and general shock. Ann Eveleigh. 23, general bruises and shock. Mary Ann Williams, 38, fractured arm and other injuries. Whitlock Williams Booth, severe scalp wounds and general shock. Edward Williams, 6, abdominal injury and general shock. William Bennett, 46, slight injuries-allowed to go to St. Fagan's. Emily Thomas, 30, general shock. Louise Thomas, 28, scalp wound, injury to both knees and over left eye, general shock. Isaac Morgan, 32, collier, scalp wound. Rees Phillips, 61, injured shoulder, general bruises. David Thomas, 34, guard on Brecon and Merthyr Railway, dislocation of shoulder. Henry Harvey, 31, collier, bruised ribs. John Jacobs, 30, general dealer, wound on head, injury to spine. Maurice Stone, 36, commercial traveller, wound on head. Richard Adams, 24, injury to leg. A young gentleman, described as a theological student returning from Ardwyn College, dislocation of leg and injury to side. John Williams, 19, sailor, dislocation of right hip and bruised face. Jenkin Jones, sawyer, broken ribs, injury to nose and left leg. William Edmunds, 28, stoker, scalp wound and injury to right hand. James Lewis, 22, cashier, Albion Colliery, amputation of left leg below knee. Caleb Giles, 32, injured ribs and left leg. Robert Jones, 12, compound fracture of shoulder and general shock. Jane Pugh, 63, fractured ribs. Martha Woodward, abrasion of left leg, &c. Thomas Jones, labourer, slight wound on the face. In all 27 injured passengers were conveyed to the institution and 18 detained for treatment. One patient, namely, Henry Simons, of Ton Pentre, died at an early hour on the following morning, his mother, who bad driven from Tongwynlais, arriving just before he passed away, and a very painful scene was witnessed. A later telegram from Pontypridd gives the following names of injured passengers additional to those who were taken to Cardiff Mrs. Knott, of Treforest. Mrs. Elizabeth Thomas, of Mardys, and Ellen, her daughter. Azariah Edwards, Mountain Ash. James Lewis, of Cardiff. Evan W. Murray, Aberdare. Florrie Harris, Cardiff, and Lillie Harris, her sister. Annie Allen, Treforest. Alfred Williams, Pentyrich. Martha Gwen Roberts, Cardiff. George Count, Taffs Well. Charles Atkins, Taffa Well. Morris Stoll, of London, staying at Cardiff. Edward Smith, Cardiff. Thomas Lewis, Ystrad, Rhondda. C. Williams, Cardiff. Miss Onions, Newport. Mr. and Mrs. Perkins and child, of Ryndllech, near Llantrissant. William Phillips, labourer, Quaker's-yard.


A little baby, aged 17 months, whose mother was killed, was found alive surrounded by wreckage and biscuits, as if the mother was in the act of feeding the child when the accident happened. The child was tenderly picked up, and to stop its cries some of the biscuits were given to it by a bystander, in return for which the infant smiled upon its newly-found friends.

VOLUNTEERS for the work of rescue were easily obtained, and when the carriages were half tamed over there were scores of volunteers to go under. So daring were they that a number of them were seriously injured, and one man named William Jones met his death, for while scores of people were helping him to turn over one of the wrecked carriages he failed to leave in time, for the overturning carriage caught him and crushed him so that in a few moments he succumbed to his injuries. The first person rescued from beneath the carriages was Mr. Samuel B. Murphy, late of Castleknock, Dublin, and now of Merthyr Vale. He was uninjured, and states that he noticed during the last mile they went that the coaches shook very much, and just as it had got past the crossing the carriage gave two or three big jumps. What happened immediately after- wards he does not know. Dr. Howard Davies, of Pontypridd, who was the first medical gentleman on the spot after the accident, states: The scene at the spot where the accident occurred was heartrending. I could see many poor fellows moving underneath the debris, but I don't know how many of them came out alive. They were doubled up under the wreckage in all directions, and there is no doubt that some of the people who were brought out alive had been grasping dead bodies. I noticed, when I told the injured that they would be conveyed to the Cardiff Infirmary by train, that they seemed horrified at the thought of again trusting themselves to the railway, and shuddered visibly."

A MOTHER'S GRIEF. The Central News says that the case of Mr. W. A. Williams, solicitor, is a peculiarly sad one. He had with him his little boy, between three and four years old, and he is suffering from a severe scalp wound, while Mrs. Williams is expecting to be confined. When the news of the disaster reached her she became overwhelmed with grief, believing her husband and child had been killed. On the day following the accident, therefore, Mr. Spickett, Mr. Williams's employer, obtained permission to convey the boy in his carriage to his mother at Llantrissant. Mr. Williams was to have started in practice at Whitby a fortnight hence. Amongst some extraordinary escapes was that of Mr. Evan Weekes, a cabowner of Pontypridd, who was in a carriage which was smashed to pieces. He states that, noticing the terrible jolting of the carriage, he gave himself up for lost, and the next minute the carriage was bounding down the steep embankment. What occurred then he does not know, but he found himself actually sitting almost unhurt upon a portion of a carriage about half-way down the embankment. He was dazed by the shock, and could not realise that he was alive when he saw that the carriage in which he had ridden was lying in pieces all around him. The inquest on the victims of the railway accident near Pontypridd was opened in that town on the 14th inst. Only evidence of identification was taken, and the proceedings were adjourned. The Government Inspector opened his inquiry on the 15th inst. At the inquest the Deputy-Chairman of the Taff Vale Railway Company expressed the sympathy of the directors with the sufferers, and their desire to furnish all the information they could which might throw light upon the cause of the accident.

The Aberystwith Observer 17th August 1893


The interment of the little girl Annie Williams, of 34, Coburn-street, Cathays, who was instantly killed in the railway disaster at Treforest, took place on Wednesday afternoon, at the New Cemetery, amid many manifestations of sympathy on the part of the neighbours. The circumstances surrounding this case are very sad, the mother of the deceased child and her son, a boy of tender years, being so severely injured in the accident that they are still detained at the Cardiff Infirmary.

South Wales Daily News 17th August 1893

Source: Welsh Newspapers Online