Wann Railroad Disaster Historical Marker Unveiling and Dedication
The Village of East Alton History Museum, Phillip D. Walkington, and the Illinois State Historical Society will unveil an ISHS historical marker commemorating the "Wann Railroad Disaster" on Saturday, June 15, at 10 a.m. in front of the Fred H. Bright Vital Services Building in East Alton. The marker commemorates the January 23, 1893, train collision that caused the greatest loss of life and personal injury in Madison County history. According to reports at the time, the accident occurred at the Wann Junction on the big four railroad near the intersection of Shamrock and Main streets in East Alton, when an open switch allowed a passenger train to collide with oil tanker cars, causing an explosion that ignited and sent thousands of gallons of oil into the air. The subsequent "rain of fire" killed more than 35 individuals and seriously injured dozens of others.
The unveiling is open to the public. For more information, call 618-920-1858, or 217-525-2781.
Fred H. Bright Vital Services Building
119 West Main Street
East Alton, IL 62024 (Map)