Subway Disaster August 11, 1995

Saturday August 12, 1995, Torontonians awoke to learn that Toronto’s subway system, until then considered one of the safest in the world, had had a dreadful accident. The Saturday Star headline was “‘Nightmare’ on the subway” It went on to tell that “at least three people were killed and dozens injured yesterday when a southbound Toronto Transit Commission train smashed into the rear of another train stopped in the tunnel just north of the Dupont station during rush hour.” It was extremely bad in the tunnel as the massive tangle of wreckage blocked air vents and the heat rose to well over 40 degrees C. It took hours to free the trapped and injured. A supposedly “failsafe” system of signals and trip wires had simply failed to do its job. It was the worst subway accident in the city’s and the country’s history.

The community rallied to help the rescue effort by donating food and drink to the rescuers and such other assistance as was feasible. As a member of the rescue team said “There is nothing normal about being down in a subway tunnel with people caught in twisted metal. Those who helped made it a little more human.”

The picture above is of the emergency entrance that was used in the rescue effort.