December 24th, 2004

One Tree Hill

Remembering Tangiwai.

Fifty-one years ago, at this exact moment in time (10:21pm New Zealand time, 7:21pm here in Queensland), the front half of the overnight express from Wellington to Auckland plunged into the swollen Whangaehu River. At the time, in terms of the death toll, it was the eighth worst railway disaster in the world and remains the fifth worst disaster in New Zealand's history. 151 were killed: the driver, fireman, one first class passenger, and 148 of the 176 second class passengers. One of the 28 who survived was my grandfather.

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  • Current Music
    'One Tree Hill (26 December 1989)' by U2