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The Insane Asylum Horror

The Insane Asylum Horror image
Parent Issue
Day
25
Month
November
Year
1880
Copyright
Public Domain
OCR Text

St. Pauí., Minn., November 16. A bulletin to the lïonecr-Press, from St. Peter, says; The numDer of lires lost by biirning and freezing in the Insano Aüylum are yariously estimatedirum tvventy to üity. Loss on building, $.'iüÜ,OOO. A special dated at faar a. rn., says: " The scene.s at the Ntrafr) of the south wing of the hospital were neartrending in the extreme. So appalling a sight has rarely been witnessed, and, I trust in God, may never be again. The patients in the annex wing were males. Many oí them refused to lcave the building at all. They ran up and dowD the halls screaming fcutl erying and acting like the Bedlamites they were. Of oourse those who coukl not be coaxed nor torced out of the building became the unhappy victima of the llames and suííered a horrible death in the pit of tire, othera were saved by ladders, and some by leaping from the windows; some were nearly nude, some shoeless and luitlcss, and all were exposed to the exceeding cold of the night. Many of the poor, mented and crazed inmates fled sis if for their lives, and could not be overtaken or contined. Their sufferings in this frightt'ul condition can better be iniagined than described. The whole catastrophe is a fearful one to contémplate, and one ímpossible to describe. The poor, dazed inmates of the asylum who had escaped the llames were at large half clothed, and were to be seen in all directions flying in wild fright f rom those who attempted to save them. The air was bitter cold, and the poor wretches with half naked bodies and bleeding feet were tfying aliout hiding in alleys and dark corners, lf was a siglit once se-on never to be forgotten. " For soDie time the capacity of the building has been tried to its utmost. There were about 600 patients, and every inch of space wa utilized. What will be done with these poor creaturea turned out in the cold, and their malady increased by the excitement of the occasion, is a serious question. There are two other buildings situated in the town whieh are ued, bul they are already crowded to their fuü capacity. The asylum at Koohester is fait and will doubtless bé unable to próvido acGonimodalions for any of the inmates at St. Peter, turneri out in the cold by the terrible ca'.astrophc.' Another special ays: "While the llames were steadily progressing the Matron of the feraale departroent made all liaste togetthe inmales out, raiuivof them ran shriekinj in their niglits clothes in tiie snow driits, even bitrying themselves in the snow, and had to bc drággéd into the barns and sheds, while tho.se near bv wrapped blankets and shawls around them. Henee, intense suflering could not be avoided, bs they had to be taken aboiit iifteen or twenty rods throug-h the snow to the neare.st ahelter, whieh was on the hill inimediately in the rear of the south wino;. Yet whcri We tuvn to the niain ai)ailtments our blood runs eold ns we ga.e into those bBroing walls and ïealize vvhat was the doom of more than one poor denipiitcd man to-ofght. Those who crowded into thö loliu: corridors of the south wino stood afotind there moaning and snivë'rtne like poor dtimb brtites. ïhe actual nuniber burned eannot be gatten at ia any way at the prese oí time, as many are known to have wandered away in the intense exciternent that prevailecl throua;hout the wholw premises, Several bodies were taken out. of soma of the rooms aud halls, and several per' sons taken out into the halls seerueiï determined tu return to the tire, like a horse that is being led ironi the ñames. One room, oocupied by two, was broken Into, and while" one was dragged out the other was determined to reaman in his warm bed, and when dragged out insisted on waiting to be dressed. ' The principal canse of delay in getting a stream of water on the fire frora the hospital hose was the almost utter uselessnesá of the hoie, ironi the fact that it had not been in use for so lonsj thal it required to be wet from the eud with hot water poured on the outside of the hose. Meantime the flMmes spread verj' rapidly fvora the ca-emeut, tiüia' the halls completcly ftül of smokc, and making it impossible to do anything at saving the inmates of the north sv'mg, only by putting up ladders and prying off the" fire sereens from the doors, taking them out, and actually bringinoj them down in their arras, without clothing, in many tases. At the other windows there were three or four begging to be saved from death, while the öames were bursting from the adjoining windows at them." A special from St. Peter at 3 p. in, says: "lt is still diflicult to get at the ñames and particulai s oí the awíul calamitv that carne upon us last nght, as all is "terror and excitement, and the grim rnin and slovvly risingsniokestrike the heart as sullen reminders of the shocking fire. To get at a complete list of those killed and hurt is not novv among the possibilities. I have jnst seen L)r. Bartlett, oí the asylum, and he says there are not more than twelve lives lost, and probably as many moro hurt and suffciing iïom the bitter cofa) of last night; indeed, more people ai'o believed to be hurt and dying from exposure to the weather than from burns received. Other people say tbat as many as twenty insane people eithrr perished in the rfames or dicd on the cold hills during the night. So many of the patients have disappeared that it cannot be told who are dead and who ran away. "The suffering has been terrible, and no pen can describe it or human mind realize it. Hundreds of the patiënt a are as helpless as children, and ave seemingly shocked and dazed so as to render them almost insensible. "The real damage to the hospital building will amount to $200,001). The center building and south wing have been preserved and the ruins of the other portions of the building are being overhauled as fast as possible in the search for the dead. The officers of the institution are making every ellort to discover the wlieréabotits of missing patients and take care of those stiu here. Arrangements will be nerfected before night, closes by which all will be comfortably cared for." The Corean Government has forbidden the sale of any native maps of the country to Europeans, and even to Japanese. The latter, however, have for some time past been very active in surveying the éoasta, and, When op'portunity oftered, the interior ol Crea and their map, han published, wi.l no doubt prove ver) useful, as thev have a deservedly goodreputation for accuracy in their cartogiaphical Work. The telegraph tells us "the Kurda have f.illcn back,' whith, perhaps, imlU datos that the whey is .U'.u.

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Subjects
Old News
Ann Arbor Democrat