Saturday, May 29, 1948 The Globe and Mail (Toronto) Page 1, col. 2

Two men killed as crane topples from rail track

Parry Sound, May 28 (Special).—Thrown off balance just after it had lifted a 36-ton steel girder in place, a giant CNR crane tumbled 26 feet to some railway tracks below, here this afternoon, killing two men and injuring two others.

Dead are: George Stonehouse, 59, of 116 Bastedo Ave., Toronto, crane operator, and Edward Baldree, 49, of Napanee, assistant steel gang foreman.

In hospital are: Alan Hall, of Montréal, assistant foreman, conditional critical, and George Welsch, of Simcoe, crane fireman, who was badly shaken up.

Pulled off the high embankment as if it were a mere toy, the crane landed with a crash that could be heard for nearly a mile and was enveloped in a cloud of smoke and steam.

Four hours later the body of the operator was still pinned in the debris.

Scene of the wreckage is on the main CNR line three miles south of Parry Sound. Here the right-of-way runs on a elevation, crossing above two other lines to Depot Harbor and a small creek, called the Boyne.

Working from opposite ends of the bridge, two railway cranes were hoisting the girder, 99 feet long and about seven feet thick, into place about 2:30 p.m. The north crane had hoisted its end when both that crane and its girder-end fell. The north girder-end and its crane held.

Operator Stonehouse had no chance to escape. Welsh, his fireman, tonight in hospital stated, I don't know whether I was pushed out or fell. Rescuers found him beside the wreckage.

Standing on the bridge at the time, both Baldree and Hall were knocked off with the crane. Baldree was killed instantly. Hall's chest was severely crushed.

At the same scene, a few weeks ago, another man was killed where a cylinder head blew off a locomotive.

Railways: C.N.Rys.

Stations: South Parry