Fort Lauderdale, FL Train Hits Gas Truck, Mar 1993

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Train Hits Gas Truck Killing 6

Associated Press.
Fort Lauderdale, Fla. -- A gasoline tanker trapped in traffic at a railroad crossing was struck by an Amtrak train Wednesday and exploded in a giant fireball that set nine other cars and trucks ablaze.
The tanker driver and five others died in their vehicles.
Fifteen people waiting at the crossing were injured, and six of the 118 aboard the train from New York City were taken to a hospital for observation, officials said.
The 11-car train remained upright after the mid-afternoon crash at a crossing near Interstate 95, but the lead locomotive was blackened and the luggage and dining cars caught fire.
A witness described panic as people stuck in traffic caused by road construction scrambled for their lives after the blast.
"I just saw some people screaming all over the place," said BILLY RODRIGUEZ, 25, of Coral Springs.
A Broward County sheriff's deputy in his patrol car at the time pulled the driver from a burning vehicle behind him, said SONYA FRIEDMAN, a Fort Lauderdale police spokeswoman.
"The explosion was unbelievable," said witness TIM DAHMS. "The sky was just black."
Cars and small trucks were scorched and scattered as if they had been in a tank battle. The tanker burned for more than two hours.
Another witness, BARABARA FREEMAN, said the gasoline truck was trapped in bumper-to-bumper traffic, when warning lights came on and the crossing gate lowered.
"He couldn't back up, and he couldn't go forward. Then, the crossing gate did come down, but it came down on the cab of his truck." The truck driver desperately inched forward until the crossing gate broke, she said.
Then the train hit the back of the tanker. The train had been starting to brake and was going about 30 to 35 mph, FRIEDMAN said.

Daily Herald Chicago Illinois 1993-03-18

Note: The driver of the Amerada Hess Corp. tanker truck was BARSON DeFRANCE, 51, of Sunrise.


I will never forget that

I will never forget that day-I was in that traffic jam about 8 cars behind that tanker-I saw the train and it was blowing it's horn-I could see that gas tanker was trapped-I got a real sense of doom and death, I got out of my car and ran for my life!!!!

Other's started to follow suit, and leave their vehicles and run-a lot more people could have died that day.........

1993 Amtrak train collides with gasoline tanker

I will never forget the day I met the Amtrak Engineer that actually survived this horrific crash. Never in it's history has an Amtrak train been involved in such a crash that the Engineer survived. This Engineer of this crash wasn't without multiple injuries himself, however nothing is as great as living with this nightmare, which he indeed does everyday. I feel privileged to have met this troubled man. As he made every attempt to do what he could, but was not rescued himself for quite sometime as he was presumed dead.

I was in the ATT building at

I was in the ATT building at the time I had just crossed the railroad tracks to go back to work. I worked in quality, for Att. I closed the door to the office which had no windows, and sat down, when I heard an explosion that I will not forget. I opened the door And I literally saw heat waves from the fire ball, which exploded more than once. I just made it because, I had to go to the bank to cash my check, I was trying to reach back before my supervisor . Everybody was trying to make it down one stairwell and the heat was unbelievable,I got down to the parking lot and saw the back end of the Amtrack train that hit the tanker,...I just began to run, and run in the opposite direction. I was new to Florida, and I was so afraid. I still don't know where I ended up but I know it was at a telephone booth, where I called my Father collect. I am originally from New York, and I thought It was time to head back to New York, since we had just had Hurricane Andrew. I stayed though and I thank God everyday that I made it through the light before the train arm went down. I saw the cars that were behind the truck and it is a memory that I cannot forget.

I was 20 at the time of this

I was 20 at the time of this accident.a couple of friends and I were at my house near prospect & powerline rd.we noticed a huge black cloud of smoke near cypress ck rd area.we jumped on are bikes and rode over to the accident scene there was cars ablaze.there was a telephone pole that was on fire like nothing we have ever seen ever! I'm 39 now and not aday goes by when I'm near a train crossing that, the accident scene is permenently etched into my brain.firefighters I heard required serious counseling from seeing the accident victims trapped in there cars and literally charred to death.this was a fluke but preventable this day if I'm near a rr crossing I don't pull my vehicle to close and you notice other people who know about it do the prayers go out to the families victems and the heroes who were there to help