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Police and Experts Prac-
tically Discard Other
Theories In Blast.


Doukhobor Leader Was In
Fear of Assassination,
Friends Say.

[ A Freedomite bomb assembly seized by the RCMP, Unknown, UBC Special Collections 48-21 ]

MONTREAL. Oct 30-- The find- ing of an alarm clock with a part of a dry battery in a shattered grip was reported to D.C. Coleman, Vice-President of the Canadian Pa- cific Railway western lines at Winnipeg, by General Manager Murphy, who examined the car in which explosion occurred Wed- nesday at Farron, in which nine persons were killed including Peter Vengin, Doukhobor leader, and John McKie, M.L.A. for Grand Forks, B.C.

Nine persons died in the terrific blast that wrecked the Kootenay-Coast train at Far- ron, a desolate spot in the moun- tains between Grand Forks and Nelson, early Wednesday morning, and eleven are being treated in the hospitals of Nelson and Grand Forks. The finding of two additional bodies by searchers amid the charred re- mains of the railway coach, and the death at Nelson of one of the wound- ed added to the five known of Wednesday.

The dead now stands as follows: Peter Verigin, Doukhobor leader; John A. McKie. M.L.A., Grand Forks; W. J. Armstrong, commercial travel- er, 156 Eleventh street east, North Vancouver; Neil Murray, farmer, Grand Forks; Harry J. Bishop, Nelson; H. K. Fawcett, news agent, Cambridge street Vancouver; Mary Syrenoli, Doukhobor girl, Nelson; and two un- identified persons, believed to be Sikhs.

With bomb experts from the C.I.D. department of the R.C.M.P., provincial police detectives under Inspector Wil- liam Dunwoodie, and members of the C. P. R. investigation department on the ground, every effort is being made to clear up the mystery of the ex- plosion.


That the blast was caused by a bomb or package of high explosives within the car close to where Peter Verigin was seated, is the belief expressed by those who are probing the affair. Wit- nesses gathering at Grand Forks to give evidence before Coroner Kingston, who opened an inquest on Wednesday and is continuing it, say that the light- ing gas tanks beneath the floor of the coach were intact following the wrecking Of the car. These were noted before the car was destroyed by the fire which followed the explosion.

Only two persons in the coach at the time escaped death or injury. Their story is to be found in another column. Others, whose injuries are slight, permitting them to talk, all tell a similar story, which is to the effect that the force of the explosion carried along the floor. One of Peter Ver- egin's lower limbs was torn from his body.


Members of the Doukhobor com- munity near Grand Forks declare that threats had been recently against the life of Veregin. They point to the fact that his house was burned some months ago and say that the intention of the incendiary at that time was to bum him to death.

It is said that he recently told those in his confidence that he was nervous about traveling, fearing an attack.

Alex Danshion, one of the leaders of the sect, is stated to have told the authorities that Peter Veregin had been taking precautions to ward off attempts against him.

It is on the theory that it was a bomb placed in the car for the purpose of killing the Doukhobor chieftain that the police are concentrating their investigations.

It was at first believed that a gas tank had exploded, but this was dis- carded almost immediately provincial police began their investigations. The next theory advanced was that a package of dynamite belonging to some prospector had exploded, but a checkup on those in the car does not indicate that any prospector had been on the train.

Source: "Bomb Cause of Details is Certain," The Province, October 30, 1924.

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