Crush Texas Was Site of the World’s Deadliest Publicity Stunt
Trains are no joke & we've seen time and time again in Texas, they are NOT to be messed with. That deadly lesson was learned the hard way back in 1896 in a small town called Crush, Texas; when two trains were crashed on purpose.
This is the story of the Crash at Crush, Texas
The story begins with a man from Katy named William George Crush, who worked for the Missouri-Kansas-Texas Railroad. As an attempt to get rid of the older, obsolete locomotive, William came up with an idea: let's get rid of them by SMASHING them HEAD ON.
On September 15, 1896, over 40,000 spectators came out to watch these two trains collide (the staff on site only planned for 20,000 to 25,000 spectators).
At 5pm, the two behemoths headed down the rails at 45mph each to meet their fate. Eventually the two would hit head on and what would happen next would live on in infamy.
The trains would explode in a shower of wood & metal, the boilers would explode, flying into the crowd.
2 people would be killed by flying debris from the locomotives & rail cars; 6 more would be seriously injured. Today it's still regarded as the world's deadliest publicity stunt. Considering that 2 people lost their lives, things could've been MUCH worse.
The Crash at Crush would become a song thanks to ragtime composer, Scott Joplin. A month after the incident, Scott would compose the "Great Crush Collision March".
Believe it or not, these kinds of stunts would STILL be a thing in the 1900s. Various states fairs around the country would have trains collide into one another, however no one would get hurt.
Here are some examples that did NOT end in tragedy.
Today the town of Crush is no more; however located just 15 miles north of Waco in Mclennan County in West, Texas (next to the Kayt depot), marks a plaque that remembers the deadly event. You can find it at 308 N. Washington St. Today it's one of the most talked about stories in Waco's history (I wonder why...).
Over a century later, people have thankfully learned our lesson & we've never had a disaster like this since. Let's hope we never do again...
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