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RAILWAY DISASTER

FURTHER!; DETAILS. DRIVER'S HEROISM. WELLINGTON, May 15. Later accounts of the Main Trunk Railway accident state that Guard Batty applied the Westihghouse brake, but'apparently it failied to respond, and by the time Ngaurukehu crossing • tation was reached the train had gathered a ,S]feed equal to; about 100 miles an hour." The signaller at the- latter :tatioh concluded that the train had i xin away by the excessive speed at w* ich it was travelling, and the fact that the driver was causing a peculiar whis +.l) t|o; sound as if in 'distress. W^arnin^s were consequently flashed along to Mataroa ajid Taihape',.. but the end of the train came at a curve about five miles' down from Gardiner's Crossing, when the engine shot off the tract. The impact Was terrific with the great pressure behind, and ocular demon- j stration is;afforded at. the scene ofv-the disaster, where wreckage is. piled up to a great 'height,; hv-fi^reds "of tons of coal and timber having, been flung over the engine for a distance of three or four chains. The js terrible, and simply beggars description. When Guard Batty recovered : from the shock .following on, the impact, he 'rushed "to the „ assistance of Driver Walsh and Fireman McKennai He found that 'the . latter,-, escaped- miraculously, .thoughl, he: .was suffering in--1 t^n'se agony from, - bui;ns caused by' i steam and boiling water,, ■_The driver ! hacK fared' w.Qi-se,, and ;was ,■ still, penned up in the .overturned, ; engine, and he was [not released- until: a ; , c c r uple of hours afterwards, when a special train from ; Taihape had ai-rhyed vv<ith medical aid, !notice of-.the disaster having been.sent i.through there and. to Ohakune by the porter at ;Ngaurukehia>:\ The traffic... manager at Ohakune also organised ' a relief ti-ain, and arrived, aboxit midnight, with a gang orVn'ior*, v/ho cut a track over tlie bank for .the express passengers, who reached the block several, hours later, and were transhipped to a train waiting, on the other side of the; wreckage. The injured men were conveyed back -to-'Taihape. ; o ' Local trains to arid from Taihape have ■ been suspended' on that section for several days, -but. the expresses jwil} run as usual, passengers being obliged to trans-ship. The estimated damage will hardly be covered by £1200. :■■■■■' •'-■ -

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Permanent link to this item

https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/AG19190516.2.30

Bibliographic details

RAILWAY DISASTER, Ashburton Guardian, Volume XXXIX, Issue 9611, 16 May 1919

Word Count
377

RAILWAY DISASTER Ashburton Guardian, Volume XXXIX, Issue 9611, 16 May 1919

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