On the 27th of September, 1903 the Old 97, a Southern Railway train, derailed at Stillhouse Trestle near Danville, Virginia.
Eleven were killed – nine immediately – and seven injured.
The crash inspired a ballad that would become famous in the United States, and would later become the focus of a copyright case.
The crash occurred because the train’s operator was running at high speed in order to stay on schedule. The train derailed and fell into a ravine. Some of the survivors attributed their luck to jumping from the vehicle before its plunge down the slope.
This photograph is believed to have been taken a few days after the disaster, as the train has been set back upright.