Orbost & District Historical Society , Orbost
A black / white photograph of a large group of men with horses and wagons. Most are holding tools - picks, spades and shovels. Some of the wagons are loaded with soil.
This photograph shows men working in the gravel pit at Newmerella just outside Orbost. Not long after this photograph was taken an accidental explosion killed three workers.
In the newspaper, The Hobart Mercury on Saturday March 1914, There was this report:
"EXPLOSION OF BLASTING CHARGE. THREE MEN KILLED. MELBOURNE, March 13
A fatal accident occurred this after- noon on the railway construction works at Hagen's Cutting, about two miles from Orbost, three men being killed. The victims were John Carroll, contractor, his son, Peter Carroll, and John Sullivan, a navvy. The gang had just finished work, and the three stayed behind to draw a blasting charge, which had missed fire yesterday. J. Carroll was using a pick, and it is presumed that the tool struck a percussion cap, and fired the charge.
He and Sullivan were killed instantly, Carroll being literally blown to pieces. Fragments of his body and garments were recovered from the surrounding bush, and the main portion of the trunk, with leg attached, was hurled a distance of 200 yards. Peter Car roll was terribly- injured, and he died before medical aid arrived. '
This is a pictorial record of construction workers associated with the Orbost - Bairnsdale railway. This item is associated with the history of the Orbost-Bairnsdale railway line and therefore reflects the role that the rail line played in the social and economic history of Orbost.
The Bairnsdale-Orbost railway was opened in 1916 to serve the agricultural and timber industry. Because of the decline in traffic and heavy operating costs, the line was finally closed in August, 1987.