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Friday, October 12, 2007

Accident → Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire (03/25/1911)

The Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire in New York City on March 25, 1911, was the largest industrial disaster in the history of the city of New York, causing the death of 146 garment workers who either died in the fire or jumped to their deaths. Somebody "tosses a match or cigarette butt into one of these bins," Von Drehle says. "It goes off like a firebomb." The approximately 125 workers on the eighth floor "barely escaped with their lives," Von Drehle says. A quick telephone call alerted workers on the tenth floor, and they too were able to make their way out of the burning building. But for several critical minutes during the commotion, no one notified the 250 workers on the ninth floor, where most of the the employees and sewing machines were located. At 4:45 p.m., a guard routinely locked one of the two exit doors on the ninth floor, something the company did every day at closing time, to discourage theft. It was then that the workers on the ninth floor first learned about the fire from the smoke and flames. Some escaped through the other, unlocked door. Others used a fire escape. Still others braved the elevators. "But eventually there was just the locked door. The other exit was blocked by fire, the elevators couldn't run, the fire escape had collapsed... and there were two horrible choices left: to jump out the windows or to die in the fire," Von Drehle says. Fifty-four people died by jumping and the rest died in the fire. The ladders only reached to between the sixth and seventh floors. Water from the hoses only reached to the seventh floor. The nets and blankets that the firefighters spread to catch the jumping workers tore and the people crashed through to die on the street.

Video: Download "triangle_factory_fire.wmv"

The number of people who died was 146, including 13 men. Nineteen bodies were found against the locked door. Twenty-five bodies were found in the cloakroom. Some bodies were so badly charred that they could not be identified, even as to sex. Sixty-two (another source) jumped nine stories to their deaths. The bodies were taken to the Bellevue Morgue or lined up along the Green Street for parents and family member to come and identify their lost loved ones. Of the 146 workers who died in the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire of 1911, the majority were young Jewish women. The deaths of almost 150 workers, mostly poor immigrant women, eventually led to improvements in the lives of millions of working people. You can see the image of the Shirtwaist similar to those made at the Triangle Shirtwaist Company factory in our image panel.


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2014-04-02 18:32:51

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2013-10-27 00:08:55

ToldYaSo
Mike is right. Triangle is no accident. May they
rest in peace.
2013-10-14 20:36:46

seinfeld
The puffy shirt has always been cursed!
2012-12-19 16:33:58

mike
Anyone else notice? the strange and bizarre similarity of the year 1911 and 911,both tragedies involving many deaths inside tall burning buildings and people escaping the flames by leaping to their deaths and both happened in ny city...
2012-06-10 08:42:27

honestly i wouldof jumped to
guys shes not a dubmass think about it you either burn to death with a slow painful death or u jump to your death quick and painless and the guy who said unfortonintly in 1911 it didnt allow for anygood splatter shots ur a patehtic excuse for a human being
2011-12-09 09:15:10

jojo
i believe this was sad i just finished ashes o roses which is a very explanatory story of this fire
2010-11-14 05:48:55

unknown
dumbass
2010-05-16 07:43:45

obamasafag
Unfortunately, film in 1911 didn't allow for any good splatter shots.
2010-02-21 22:00:29

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