At about 7:30 pm, December 29, 1876, the train was crossing over the Ashtabula River about 1,000 feet from the railroad station at Ashtabula, Ohio when the bridge gave way beneath it. The lead locomotive made it across the bridge, while the second locomotive and the rest of the train plunged 76 feet into the water. Some cars landed in an upright position. The wooden cars were set alight by the heating stoves and lamps and soon small, localized fires became an inferno. Of 159 passengers and crew on board that night, 92 were killed or died later from injuries. Forty-eight of the fatalities were unrecognizable or consumed in the flames. Sixty-four people were injured.