70 years ago…

The state’s deadliest rail accident happened on December 17, 1943 when two passenger trains collided in Robinson County. The Fayetteville Observer offers a look back at crash of the Tamiami East Coast Champion at speed into three derailed cars of the Tamiami West Coast Champion:

One forgotten pouch. One wrong step. One night of unprecedented carnage. Seventy years later, officials are still not sure how many people died. The counts range from 72 to 74 with nearly 200 injured. It remains the deadliest disaster in North Carolina history.

Only a handful of Civil War battles in-state can top the carnage of Dec. 16, 1943, when two passenger trains jam-packed with hundreds of holiday travelers collided on a bone-chilling night in Robeson County.

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