Tangiwai

Tangiwai
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  • 7p.m. Christmas Eve
  • Goods train crossed bridge River appeared normal
  • Small Showers
  • Oblivious to the upcoming disaster
  • 6 metre high waves down Whangaehu river
  • Release Of 2 million cubic metres of water from crater lake hit Concrete Pylond of tangiwai railway bridge
  • 10p.m.
  • 65 kph. Pulled emergency brakes 200m from the bridge and saved many lives
  • This decision prevented 3 carriage from plummeting into the river 
  • 10:21p.m. The train reached the severely weakened bridge 
  • The bridge buckled beneath its weight, the engine plunged into the river, taking five carriages with it 
  • Decisions were made to put up an early warning system upstream
  • A warning from amateur geologists stated that the crater wall was a reason for concern had been largely ignored by aurthorites
  • No evidence was found that could link any party with legal blame.
  • Relatives lost family, friends, co-workers, etc. There were few who did not know somebody who died from the Tangiwai disaster
  • The queen had awarded Cyril Ellis and John Holman the George Medal. William Inglis and Arthur bell received the British empire medal
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