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Mothman

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Christian Kielbasa
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« Reply #75 on: June 06, 2009, 12:26:03 am »

At about 7:30 p.m., Gallia, Ohio, County Prosecutor John Epling crossed to West Virginia to begin organizing a cooperative recovery operation between the two states.

Later in the evening, Ohio Gov. James A. Rhodes and West Virginia Gov. Smith arrived at the disaster scene. At about 10:30 p.m., officials agreed to stop operations until daylight.

Some officials at the scene expressed the fear the death toll would near 200 and become one of the greatest river disasters in history.

As one official pointed out most of the cars obviously had more than one passenger.

The official, who refused to be quoted, feared that it would be weeks before all the bodies could be recovered since the swift current would carry many far downstream. Lowell R. Bridwell, the federal highway commissioner, immediately announced from Washington that he was sending a team of investigators to the area today.

Both West Virginia Gov. Smith and Ohio Gov. Rhodes expressed shock at the extent of the catastrophe.

After a joint inspection trip, Gov. Smith issued the following statement to the press: "Gov. Rhodes and I have just completed a meeting at state police headquarters in Point Pleasant coordinating the efforts of the agencies of both states to alleviate the suffering and to commence the recovery operations at the Silver Bridge. "It was a terrible tragedy, and of course at this time our prayers and hopes go out to those who have suffered under this tragedy, particularly at Christmas time. "We have directed our road commissioners to commence an investigation to determine the cause. We have alerted all of the necessary agencies of state government who are on the scene tonight already taking charge of their respective duties under our emergency operations."

Meanwhile newspaper offices and radio stations were flooded with calls from anxious persons seeking news of overdue relatives and members of their families.

Here is the list of known dead:

George McManus, a trucker from South Point, Ohio; Cecil Counts and Melvin Cantrell, both of Gallipolis Ferry; Leo Blackman, a trucker from Richmond, Va.; and an identified woman.

Injured are:

1. Howard Boggs, 24, Bidwell, Ohio; Pleasant Valley Hospital, Point Pleasant, cuts and bruises.
2. Paul Scott, Middleport, Ohio; Pleasant Valley Hospital, not critical.
3. William Edmondson, 38, King, N. C.; Pleasant Valley Hospital, broken arm and cuts.
4. William Frank Wamsley, 28, Point Pleasant; Pleasant Valley Hospital, not critical.
5. William Needham Jr., 27, Ashboro, N. C.; Pleasant Valley Hospital, back fracture, not critical.
6. Samuel F. Ellis, 29, Winston-Salem, N. C.; Holzer Hospital, Gallipolis, Ohio, multiple face and head cuts; satisfactory condition.
7. Frank Nunn, 27, Greenville, N. C.; Holzer Hospital, back fracture, satisfactory condition.
8. Mrs. Margaret Cantrell, 35, Gallipolis Ferry, wife of the dead Melvin Cantrell; Holzer Hospital, shock.
9. John Fishel, Petersburg, Va.; Holzer Hospital, leg and foot burns.

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