One of Wellington's worst traffic accidents happened nearly 70 years ago this week.
One man died and 28 others were injured when Seatoun Tram 243 derailed at the corner of Onepu Rd and Coutts St, Kilbirnie, at 7pm on June 12, 1943.
James Kerr, 27, was crushed by the tram and died shortly after admission to Wellington Hospital.
On June 14, The Evening Post ran an extensive report about the incident. As well as Mr Kerr, the paper listed the names of all those injured in the crash.
Under the headline Scene of bedlam it was reported: "Injured people were everywhere receiving attention, bandages and other dressings, of which fortunately there was an ample supply."
The crash happened outside a chemist, and owner Claude Arthur was one of the first on the scene. He opened his store and offered assistance.
Karori resident Betty Robertson, 7 at the time, was seriously injured. She told her story this week to Radio New Zealand's Sounds Historical programme.
Mrs Robertson was on her way to a dance at Island Bay with her brother Jack and sister Daisy.
The packed tram was travelling at high speed when it derailed.
"All of a sudden things started shaking. I remember flying through the air . . . the tram had completely overturned with the crowd of people," she said.
Mrs Robertson's ankle and leg were jammed under the tram. "All that side of me was being crushed by the weight of the tram."
The scene was one of carnage.
"It was just a sea of bodies and I just could not move because the weight of the tram was holding me down."
Tram driver Donald Norman MacLean, 38, was found guilty of manslaughter.
- The Wellingtonian