Charges Men Pushed Women and Then Slid Down Rope
Panic reigned in many parts of the Noronic when passengers realized the extent of the blaze. A Detroit party of 10 persons was signing gaily on C deck when one of the party left the stateroom. He returned out of breath and told the group."No kidding gang, this ship is on fire." Sylvia Carpenter, one of the six girls in the group looked out o see smoke and flames billowing along the passageways. She screamed and headed for the outside rail.
Someone had thrown a rope ladder over the dockside but it was all tangled up, " said Miss Carpenter. "A rope was tossed over the rail. I put a hitch knot on it to hold it to a stanchion. As I did so three men pushed in front of me and shoved some screaming woman out of the way. They went down the rope."
Alberta Agla, of Detroit said there was complete panic on Deck A when she reached it. "There was a mob of men and women surging back and forth" she related " Men were pushing women around and many were knocked to the floor. The screaming filled the air. There was so much panic that I don’t know how these people got segregated to find a way to safety. I slid down a rope."
One unidentified woman just leaped over the dockside and crumpled in a heap on the wharf. Henry Maurer of Mentor Ohio, and his wife Elmina, escaped in their night clothes. "We were sound asleep in Parlor F over the deck when someone pounded on the door." stated Mr. Maurer.
We didn’t have time to get anything out of the room. Some water was pouring in and my wife and I reached the outside rail.. I saw Elmina start down the ladder, but it became so horribly twisted form so many trying to get on it. She got tangled and trapped. I swung down on a rope to her side and got her free and we both managed to get to the dock." said Mr. Maurer.
Thirty two persons had joined the cruise from Akron, Ohio. All friends, they had got together recently and decided on the tour. At 5 a.m., today they assembled in the Royal York and found that all were alive and safe.