5. The Wellington Disaster

Photographer: Unknown

Year: March 1910

Location: Wellington, Washington

Casualties: 96

"Two trains travelling across Washington State..." sounds exactly like the beginning to a "Train Disaster" story. And it is, but not in the way you'd expect. Two trains were headed along the same route encountered a bad blizzard in February 1910 and both stopped tiny mountain depot of Wellington, Washington to safely wait out the storm. It raged on, and crewmembers and passengers alike stayed on the parked trains for six days. On the night of March 1st, a thunderstorm released a massive chunk of snow that blasted down the mountain in what seemed to be a beeline for the depot. It barreled into the the trains, which then toppled down the slope, twisting and mangling the trains, tracks, and those on board. Only 23 survived the stationary train wreck, with injuries, while 96 perished, making it the worst avalanche in U.S. History.