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October 30, 1924 Grand Forks BCPP Report


Division "B"File No.
District: BoundaryOctober 30, 1924.
Detachment: Grand Forks



Nil. CANADIAN PACIFIC RAILWAY - Explosion on the train, complaint of -

On receipt of telephone message from the above Company received at 6:35 o'clock on the morning of the 29th inst. that an explosion had occurred on No. 11 train Westbound from Nelson at a point about a mile West of Farron and some thirty-seven miles East of Grand Forks in which a number of persons had been killed and injured. I left accompanying Coroner Kingston to Cascade by car thence by railway speeder, to the scene of the accident. On arrival found the still smoldering remains of a passenger coach standing on, with no evidence of having left, the rails, with nothing but charred embers and ironwork remaining. There appeared nothing about the construction of the coach that would have caused the explosion. While the lighting was by Pintsch gas, on looking over the two tanks that carry the lighting supply and are slung under the South side of the coach as it was traveling, they proved intact. The remains of a human body burned almost beyond recognition as such was found immediately in front of the right wheel of the after set of trucks, the lower end of the body resting against the end of the rear gas-tank, the back resting against iron support rods of the coach. This body was the only one found still in the car at the time of our arrival, and apparently was the only one not rescued. This body is believed to be that of the only person not accounted for, - a Mr. P.J. Campbell, of Sand Point, Idaho, and representing the Bruce Lumber Co. of that place. On the South side of the coach portions of the wood-work had been blown up the side of the mountain some three hundred feet, and closer to the track heavy portions of roofing were found some forty feet clear of the point of explosion. From the spot where this coach had quite evidently been at the time the explosion occurred portions of clothing and personal effects of passengers strewed the ground everywhere, and almost opposite the spot where the Western end of the coach had been but rather to the centre the corpse of a Hindoo, since identified as one Hakim Singh formerly of, and well known in Grand Forks, was lying minus the head., right arm, and upper part of chest. 35 feet east of this the missing arm and portion of chest was lying. On the North side of the coach when the explosion had occurred the wreckage was strewn about equal to that of the other side. Here the corpse of Peter Verigin, Doukhobor leader, was lying, face downward, it head toward the track with a considerable number of wounds apparently on the body but easily recognizable. This corpse was a little forward of where the centre of the coach had evidently been and about twenty-five feet from the track. Some fifteen to twenty feet West of Verigin's corpse and about the same distance from the track the corpse of John McKie. M.L.A. of Grand Forks was lying, the body was practically uninjured. After the corpses had been viewed by Coroner Kingston they were removed to a waiting train. I arrived at the opinion of the exact location of the coach partly from the location of debris and bodies, but more from the fact that a light snow that had evidently fallen previous to the accident, or at the time, was melted off within a certain area of track, which small area coincided with the location of debris. I was informed at the scene of the accident by Superintendent Miller of the K.V. Rwy. that the train had run a short distance in coming to a stop and that in cutting out the burning car from the rest of the train it later had been brought to the portion in which I found it, which I would judge to be one hundred yards from the spot where the explosion took place evidently. There was no injury to the road-bed whatever. The force of the explosion appeared to have all been about the upper part of the coach and the location of debris indicated that it had been internal. Considerable time was spent about the scene of the accident and after all available evidence and scattered effects had been gathered the train with corpses. and on which Coroner Kingston and the N.C.O. In Charge, Boundary District, who had arrived on the scene, and myself, traveled to Grand Forks. arriving at the K. V. station at 6:45 p.m.

Inquest was called by Coroner Kingston for 8:00 p.m. the same evening, and a copy of evidence taken at same is enclosed herewith in quadruplicate.

G. F. Killam.
I/C Grand Forks Detachment.

To the N.C.O. In Charge. Boundary District "B" Division. Greenwood, B.C

Source: Steve Lapshinoff, Documentary Report on the Death of Peter Verigin, in a Train Explosion near Farron, B.C. in 1924 (Crescent Valley, BC: Steve Lapshinoff, 1993), pp. 9-11, , , Constable G.F. Killam, BC Provincial Police Report, Grand Forks Detachment , October 30, 1924.

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