On November 1, 1855, on a day of rain, an inaugural train carrying some 600 invited visitors and dignitaries, set out from St. Louis. As the train started to pass over the Gasconade Bridge, a 760-foot wooden structure spanning the Gasconade River, the span between the bank and the first pier collapsed. It consisted of temporary trestle work. The engine and all but one of the 15 cars fell off the tracks, some going through the broken wooden timbers, and others rolling down the bank into the river. Thirty-one people were killed, and hundreds were injured, making this the worst railroad disaster in Missouri history.