Dunreith, IN Train Wreck and Explosions, Jan 1968



Dunreith, Ind., (AP) - Thunderous explosions from ammonia-filled tanker cars after two freight trains crashed forced a mass evacuation Monday night and set fire to two businesses and several homes.
All 236 residents of this east-central Indiana community were evacuated safely.
Three firemen and a policeman suffered minor injuries.
The Butterfield Canning Co. plant and a service station were destroyed by flames, which also spread to 10 houses. Some were empty migrant worker dwellings, officials said.
A westbound Pennsylvania Railroad train derailed and sideswiped an eastbound Pennsy freight. W. R. Sheets of Zionsville, brakeman on the westbound train, said he believed a rail broke under the 75th car of the 98-car train. Flames broke out almost immediately he said.
Officials quickly removed townspeople from the danger area of the chemical laden tankers.
Mrs. Mabel McGuire, who lives a half block from the accident scene, said one explosion "looked like the whole world was on fire."
"Our back door was blown off the hinges," she said. "There were a lost of small explosions and one big one that lit up the whole sky."
The blast was felt in areas 25 miles away. A plot said the explosions shook his small plane as he flew over Dunreith, which is about 35 miles east of Indianapolis.
Traffic was rerouted from busy U.S. 40 which parallels the Pennsylvania main line through Dunreith.

Emporia Gazette Kansas 1968-01-02