Story: Historic volcanic activity

Reporting the Tangiwai disaster

With 151 people killed and many injured, the rail accident at Tangiwai on 24 December 1953 was one of New Zealand’s worst disasters. Because the following day was Christmas Day, there were no newspapers, but on 26 December they devoted their issues to the tragedy. This radio interview is with a local resident who assisted with the rescue. He mentions that the river rose similarly in 1922–23.

Sound file from Radio New Zealand Sound Archives Ngā Taonga Kōrero. Any re-use of this audio is a breach of copyright. To request a copy of the recording, contact Sound Archives Ngā Taonga Kōrero (D series – Tangiwai rail disaster/Reference number DCDR 71A).

About this item

Te Ara - The Encyclopedia of New Zealand
Reference: New Zealand Herald, 26 December 1953, p. 1

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How to cite this page:

Eileen McSaveney, Carol Stewart and Graham Leonard, 'Historic volcanic activity - Ruapehu and the Tangiwai disaster', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, http://www.TeAra.govt.nz/en/speech/6866/reporting-the-tangiwai-disaster (accessed 21 November 2017)

Story by Eileen McSaveney, Carol Stewart and Graham Leonard, published 12 Jun 2006