Author(s): Elizabeth Coleman
On June 4th 1943, the crash of a passenger train bound for Dunedin ended lives, devastated families, and shook an entire country. It was the biggest catastrophe the peaceful Maniototo district had ever seen.
Occurring in the middle of World War II, the disaster struck when the people of New Zealand were already mourning the loss of those killed or anxiously awaiting news of those who remained in peril overseas. Struck with another heavy blow, they wondered how a tragedy like this could happen so close to home.
At the final count, twenty-one lives were lost in the accident, and many more passengers were injured.