The 86th Anniversary of The Big Pier at Momauguin Collapse - An Engineer's Aspect


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Saturday, August 15, 2009

The 86th Anniversary of The Big Pier at Momauguin Collapse

Naugatuck Daily News, Wednesday, August 15, 1923.


2000 Persons on the Pier at Time But by Some Miracle All Were Saved

New Haven, Aug. 15.--More than 2,000 persons, men, women and children, were precipitated into the waters of Long Island Sound this afternoon when the big pier at Momauguin collapsed while the throng was crowded on it watching the progress of the canoe races in connection with “Cosey Beach” day. By a miracle everyone was saved and none so far as can yet be learned seriously injured, although hundreds suffered bruises and shock by the accident.

The pier extends out into the Sound perhaps 200 feet and when the water sports were started a rush for places of vantage on it was made. The pier apparently withstood the strain until the canoe races had started. Without a sign of warning the big pier gave way and the crowd was dumped amid the wreckage into the waters of Long Island Sound.

Pandemonium Reigned

Pandemonium reigned, and while hundreds struggled in the water still others clung to the wrecked pier and held on until they were rescued.

Immediately scores of boats put out from the beach, and the men, women and children were dragged ashore, while hundreds of swimmers nearby lent every aid possible. In a short time the water and pier were cleared of persons, but the beach was strewn with fainting women and children overcome by the shock.

Doctors Summoned

Doctors were summoned from every available source, and at this writing were making hurried examination of the sufferers, seeking to learn the extent of their injuries.

In the meantime, men boats and persons who were in swimming searched the waters for possible victims stunned by the collapse and thus drowned. So far as ascertained, everybody got safely ashore, but only a final checkup when families get together will prove this.