#384 Funeral Service in remembrance / Contich Railway Disaster 1908

Plechtige Lijkdienst tot lafenis van de zielen der overledenen ten gevolge der spoorwegramp van Contich op 21 mei 1908
Aanspraak van Y.E.den kardinaal Mercier
aartsbisschop van Mechelen

Solemn funeral service in remembrance of the souls of the deceased as a result of the Contich railway disaster on May 21, 1908
Claim of Y.E.den Cardinal Mercier
Archbishop of Mechelen


The Kontich train disaster (21 May 1908) was one of the deadliest Belgian railway accidents.

A train crashed into a stationary train at the Ooststation of Kontich at a speed of 30 kilometers per hour. The moving train crashed into the waiting wagons. 41 people were killed and 340 injured, mainly workers, soldiers and pilgrims. The disaster was probably caused by a switchman who misplaced a switch. After the accident he fled and spent a day praying and crying in the chapel of the Kapelletjesbos in Kontich-Kazerne.

The disaster became one of the first cinematic images. Many went to see the disaster in the cinema. To date, many photos are in circulation.

In Antwerp there is a saying "The disaster of Kontich!". It expresses that something very bad happened. Football commentator Rik De Saedeleer used the expression during the Belgium-Poland match (0-3) in 1982.

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