Michigan rail fire causes evacuation

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Mich. Rail Fire Causes Evacuation

FLINT, Mich. (AP) -- A propane train car caught fire early today near several other tankers, forcing police to evacuate hundreds of homes in a 1-mile radius and close several schools near the CSX railyard for fear of an explosion.

There were no immediate reports of injuries. Witnesses described flames shooting out of a hole in the top of the tanker much like a massive wood stove.

The tanker began leaking propane and started to burn about 4:30 a.m. Officials said it was linked to other tanker cars also carrying thousands of gallons of propane.

Police said they evacuated hundreds of homes adjacent to the industrial area. The fire also forced two Flint schools and the entire nearby Beecher school district to close for the day. A 2-mile stretch of Interstate 475 also was closed.

Officials established a shelter at a nearby church for evacuated residents.

Investigators did not immediately know the cause of the fire.

AP-NY-01-21-00 0937EST

here is the link:


-- phill (phillipmorris@mindspring.com), January 21, 2000


i couldn't get the link to work. does anyone have another one?

-- boop (leafyspurge@hotmail.com), January 21, 2000.


Michigan fire official said it appeared an electronic separation valve between the cars failed, causing the fire...

Here's another version of the story with additional information. Link is below

CSX fire forces evacuation Threat of propane explosion drives hundreds from homes this morning

Friday, January 21, 2000

By James L. Smith and Kim Crawford JOURNAL STAFF WRITERS

FLINT - An early morning fire in a railroad propane tank car today prompted the evacuation of hundreds of north Flint and Genesee Township residents who might not be able to return to their homes until Saturday.

Flint fire officials initially feared the small fire in a CSX tank car near E. Carpenter Road and Belleview Avenue threatened a half-million gallons of propane in 54 other cars, each containing up to 33,000 gallons of propane, officials said.

But crews had managed to separate all of the freight cars attached to the burning car by 9:30 a.m., nearly six hours after the fire was discovered.

Flint Fire Chief Theron Wiggins said CSX and Young's Environmental Cleanup Inc. crews detached the burning rail car from the series of propane tankers.

"The train was probably a mile long," Wiggins said. "Engines on both sides pulled it apart." The tank car spewing the burning gas contained about 33,000 gallons of liquid propane. Wiggins said it might be 12 to 24 hours until the remaining gas safely burns off.

.Michigan fire official said it appeared an electronic separation valve between the cars failed, causing the fire

Link to story:


-- Carl Jenkins (Somewherepress@aol.com), January 21, 2000.

Hmm, "an electronic separation valve"?

Anybody know what that is?

-- Ron Schwarz (rs@clubvb.com.delete.this), January 21, 2000.

I have no idea what an electronic separation valve is but thx for the info . I have relatives there !! First Owosso, now Flint. Maybe I should call home more often hmmmm? And it's still very cold here and getting colder. And yes it's official there is definately a kero shortage in Maine. Jules

-- jules (jules@fridgid.net), January 21, 2000.

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