How did the Tangiwai disaster happen?

How did the Tangiwai disaster happen?

The cause of the tragedy was a volcanic lahar from the Mt Ruapehu crater lake, which sent a huge wave of water, silt, boulders and debris surging down the Whangaehu River minutes before the express approached the bridge at Tangiwai.

What happened at the Tangiwai railway disaster?

The Tangiwai disaster occurred at 10:21 p.m. on 24 December 1953 when a railway bridge over the Whangaehu River collapsed beneath an express passenger train at Tangiwai, North Island, New Zealand. The locomotive and the first six carriages derailed into the river, killing 151 people.

How many died in the Tangiwai disaster?

151Tangiwai disaster / Number of deaths
The worst railway disaster in New Zealand’s history occurred on Christmas Eve 1953 when the Wellington-Auckland night express plunged into the flooded Whangaehu River just west of Tangiwai, 8 km west of Waiouru. Of the 285 people on board, 151 were killed. The tragedy left a nation in mourning, and stunned the world.

Who was involved in the Tangiwai disaster?

New Zealand’s worst railway disaster occurred 60 years ago on Christmas Eve 1953, when the Wellington–Auckland night express plunged into the swollen Whangaehu River near Tangiwai. Of the 285 people on board, 151 were killed. The tragedy stunned the world and left a nation in mourning.

How many carriages were on the Tangiwai train?

nine carriages
A giant wave of water, mud and rocks 6 metres high hit and swept away one concrete support of the rail bridge at Tangiwai, almost 10 kilometres from Waiouru. At 10:21 pm the express, consisting of one engine, nine carriages and two vans, and travelling at about 60 kilometres per hour, rocketed onto the weakened bridge.

Where was the Tangiwai disaster?

Whangaehu RiverTangiwai disaster / Location

Did anyone survive the Tangiwai disaster?

At Tangiwai, just 28 of the more than 170 second-class passengers survived. Only one first-class passenger was lost, along with the driver and fireman. Most of the passengers in the final three (first-class) carriages, which remained on the track, initially did not even know what had happened to their train.

Who survived the Tangiwai disaster?

Who was the train driver in the Tangiwai disaster?

driver Charles Parker
They were locomotive driver Charles Parker, who initiated an emergency brake, and locomotive fireman Lance Redman, who sanded the tracks to help the train brake faster. Parker’s granddaughter Denise Stanney said her family finally had closure after the service today.