Dunreith Wreck & Explosion Jan 1, 1968

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Dunreith Wreck & Explosion Jan 1, 1968

Postby Hotbox » Sun Apr 19, 2009 3:01 pm

Any of you old heads from central Indiana remember this one? PRR dual main crosses the NKP near the intersection of US 40 and Indiana rt 3, where an 18" section of railhead on the westbound line sheared off, approx 15' west of the NKP, and the 89th car of the 97 car westbound train derailed and struck the 15 th car of a waiting east bound

The wreck was tanker vs tanker, with one car containing Acetone Cyanhydrin, two more containing Ethylene Oxide, and two more containing vinyl chloride..

The explosion that followed 2 hours later incinerated a trackside cannery, and poisoned nearby Buck creek killing fish and livestock for 50 miles.

Photos:

Image


Image


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There is a book at the ACPL titled "Pictorial Souvenir of the Dunreith Trainwreck and Explosion: Jan 1, 1968" Gc977.202 D92p
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Re: Dunreith Wreck & Explosion Jan 1, 1968

Postby JW » Sun Apr 19, 2009 7:55 pm

My girlfriend at the time and I had just gotten back to her parents home after going to the Komets game. We had just parked the car and saw a helluva flash in the low horizon in the South. The news later in the day told of the wreck and the time and it all fit together. We saw it from 5 miles West of Van Wert.

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Re: Dunreith Wreck & Explosion Jan 1, 1968

Postby rrnut282 » Mon Apr 20, 2009 8:49 am

I was a little young to be railfanning back then. :lol: Sounds (and looks) like it was a nasty one. Did hulcher's employees have to wear environmental suits?
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Re: Dunreith Wreck & Explosion Jan 1, 1968

Postby Hotbox » Mon Apr 20, 2009 9:21 pm

JW wrote:. The news later in the day told of the wreck and the time and it all fit together. We saw it from 5 miles West of Van Wert.

JW


Van Wert? THAT's amazing!! There was a photo of the actual explosion in the book, some guy west of the IN rt 3 bridge just happened to get the timing right. But the flash was so bright that it washed EVERTHING else out of the photo, you can just barely see a sillouette of the bridge in front of the flash. The flash appears like a dome of light about 500 feet tall and 350 feet wide at the base
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Re: Dunreith Wreck & Explosion Jan 1, 1968

Postby Hotbox » Mon Apr 20, 2009 9:29 pm

rrnut282 wrote: did Hulcher's employees have to wear environmental suits?


Most of the toxic effect was from the cyanide dumped into Buck creek as runoff. the livestock that died had all drank from the creek. the ethylene oxide was the main explosive component, and I think the vinyl chloride was what sustained the fire long enough to ignite the EO
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Re: Dunreith Wreck & Explosion Jan 1, 1968

Postby Hotbox » Thu Apr 23, 2009 7:38 pm

This happened like one month prior to the PC merger, right? what a wedding present!!
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