JAMAICA: Death Excursion

Returning to Kingston, Jamaica's capital, from a one-day outing at northwest-coast Montego Bay. 1,500 passengers aboard a Jamaica Government Railway excursion train were variously weary, tipsy, sleepy and raucous. Jammed into twelve ancient wooden coaches and two freight cars, they braced themselves against the sway; some slept in the baggage racks. Then, at the top of a long downhill run in the mountainous central part of the island, the brakes failed.

Hurtling into an S-curve at the bottom of the hill, the train came apart. The twin diesel locomotives rocketed on down the track, pulling the freight cars with them....

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