NEBRASKAland July 2017

NEBRASKAland Magazine is dedicated to outstanding photography and informative writing with an engaging mix of articles and photos highlighting Nebraska’s outdoor activities, parklands, wildlife, history and people.

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NSHS RG3348-6-266 Above: Omaha's Krug Park from a postcard mailed in 1906. Opposite: The Omaha World-Herald reported on the crash in its July 25, 1930, issue with photos of the damaged roller coaster. JULY 2017 • NEBRASKAland 13 of little pleasure parties from the time the grounds opened in the morning until the gates were closed when the last cars commenced to make their way to the city." The 1930 roller coaster mishap resulted in four deaths and many injuries, causing a near panic at the park. The World- Herald said on July 25: "Following the accident hysterical crowds rushed to the scene and police had to divide time between battling the crowds and aiding the injured ... The accident occurred on the Fifty-second street side of the park, three-fourths of a block north of the entrance. A crowd of curious onlookers thronged the Fifty-second street side of the park until nearly midnight. An extra detail of police were necessary to handle the dense traffic that steered toward the place when news of the tragedy spread." Omaha officials moved speedily to determine the cause of the accident. City Commissioner John Hopkins, who surveyed the scene, told the World-Herald that there had evidently been some object on the track that derailed the first car. It was later reported in the press that the accident was caused by a loose bolt on a brake shoe. The brake shoe fell under one of the front wheels. This derailed the first car, which then pulled the other three with it. Three of the cars overturned, pinning most of the occupants beneath them. The unconscious victims were pulled from the wreckage and taken to hospitals in private cars before ambulances arrived. Following the accident, Krug Park was closed for the evening at the suggestion of Commissioner Hopkins but reopened the next day, except for the roller coaster. Business declined, however, and the park was closed for good in 1940. ■ Visit the Nebraska State Historical Society's website at

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