Chicago Ship: New Footage Discovered of 1915 Disaster That Killed 844

After 100 years, a grad student accidentally found new images of the tragedy.

— -- One hundred years after a boat capsized in the Chicago river, killing 844 people, archival footage of the disaster was accidentally discovered recently by a graduate student.

The clips are Dutch newsreels describing how he SS Eastland, which was carrying 2,500 people, turned onto its side in the Chicago River in July 1915.

The Eastland was one of five boats carrying Western Electric workers and their families and friends across Lake Michigan to a park in Michigan City, Indiana.

The first-known footage of the Eastland disaster was found by Jeff Nichols, a doctoral student at the University of Illinois at Chicago, while he was looking for unrelated material about World War I, the Chicago Tribune reported. Nichols found the footage on Europeana’s 1914-1918 website.