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GREEN MOUNTAIN - Headlines of the day scream calamity and anguish.

On the morning of March 21, 1910, two trains on detour from Cedar Rapids to Marshalltown skipped the tracks and smashed into the nearby hillside. Heavy steel cars crashed into the weaker wooden passenger coaches, turning them into tinder.

"Awful Horror Follows Derailment Near Gladbrook," read the Waterloo Evening Courier.

"45 Dead Taken from Rock Island Wreck," said the New York Times in a block-lettered headline from March 22.

In the wake of it all, more than 50 died. Scores more were injured. The Rock Island Nos. 19 and 21 trains were reduced to piles of torn metal, wooden kindling and shattered glass. It marked the worst train disaster in Iowa's history. Today marks the centennial of the event.

Read more of this story in Sunday's Courier

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