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Promotional stunt in non-existent town kills three people

September
15
1896

On this day in 1896, the celebrated "Crash at Crush" occurred 15 miles north of Waco in McLennan County. As a publicity stunt for the Katy Railroad, two railroad engines were deliberately crashed head-on at the non-existent "town" of Crush. Elaborate preparations and extensive publicity brought a crowd of more than 40,000 to witness the event. After a two-mile run the two engines, the bright green No. 999 and the brilliant red No. 1001, met in a fiery crash. Flying debris killed three people and injured six more. By nightfall the site was abandoned. In the early twentieth century Scott Joplin commemorated the event in his march "Great Crush Collision."

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