It was huge, the damage was massive, at least 2 people died and many were injured during this Texas train crash ... and it was done deliberately.

A carefully staged train wreck in 1896 went south when the expected disaster set off a secondary one that turned tragic in a millisecond, killing 3 and injuring several more.

One of the victims lost an eye and many were burned in addition to other injuries and the 3 deaths in a makeshift town known as "Crush" in McLennan County, Texas.

The site was named for William George Crush, an employee of the Missouri-Kansas-Texas Railroad Company who fancied himself another promoter along the lines of P. T. Barnum.

There is no footage of the Crash at Crush but, thanks to it, these types of staged train crashes actually got popular in the 1930's. By then, motion picture cameras existed so, there is some footage available.

That one went a lot better than the "Crash at Crush" did. By the 1930's, lessons learned from Crush helped promoters destroy gargantuan, metal "iron horses" safely. Hollywood even destroyed (at least) one locomotive and a bridge for a scene in "The General" shot in 1926.

Back to "Crush":

At impact, estimated to be at 50 miles per hour for each engine, the smashing of metal and splintering of timber filled the air. But just as the dust from the smoking heap started to settle, both boilers exploded simultaneously and the air was filled with flying metal missiles "varying in size from a postage stamp to half of a driving wheel," the News reported the next day. - 

Reports say one man was killed sitting in a tree while another lost an eye and a Civil War veteran in the crowd said it reminded him of battle with bodies falling everywhere.

You can see some pics here and here.

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