"Hello, this is Joe Bloggs. I'll be late to work today - there's been an aeroplane accident on Kingsford Smith Drive."Stunned silence.
Sound unlikely? Well, it did happen one day towards the end of the war, as a fighter plane being towed from Bretts Wharves fouled the power lines on Kingsford Smith Drive, requiring police to attend the scene to divert traffic.
Let's take a look at the old photo. In the foreground, a policeman wearing shorts and long socks, no firearm visible. Left of him are the tram driver and conductor in their foreign legion styled peaked caps, standing in front of their tram, which was headed to Balmoral Cemetery. Behind the tram, amid the traffic chaos is the plane, wings folded for transport, after having been turned around to clear the road. It looks like the maze of overhead power lines for the trams has been damaged, probably by those folded wings. More broken wiring lies on the ground in front of the tram.
(Photo: © 2009 the foto fanatic)
Kingsford Smith Drive, like the rest of Brisbane, has lost its trams; now the road is four lanes wide for the ever increasing traffic to the northern suburbs, the Gateway Bridge and the airport. The overhead power lines for the trams have been dismantled and it appears that the street lighting is now powered by underground cabling, so any aircraft travelling along Kingsford Smith Drive these days should be safe!
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