Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Okay, so this happened...

About 8 this morning, Max and I were in the front yard pulling weeds and harassing rabbits when we were basically knocked on our asses. The homestead isn't that far from the BNSF train tracks, and we're talking a major artery for freight transportation. We're used to hearing the boom of cars being coupled, but this was a BOOM!!!!! Long and loud and seemingly never-ending. And then there was a fireball. And smoke, and more fire, and another explosion, and then hell. Two BNSF trains collided head on at full speed. Four crew members, two conductors and two engineers, were on board. One jumped before impact and was taken to a local hospital. The other three have not been found. The authorities are still, somewhat hopefully, calling it a rescue effort.

Then a succession of every available emergency vehicle in 4 counties. All Panhandle crews, then Claude and White Deer. Then Borger and Pampa. Then Amarillo and Pantex. Fire crews, ambulances, emergency response vehicles, sheriffs, police, BNSF, FRA, water trucks, chemical pumper trucks, crane trucks. All driving down our tiny little barely two lane almost rural road. We were told to shelter in place, then evacuate, then don't if you don't want to, then mandatory, then come back but look out for wind shifts. There's no HAZMAT threats, but the area is a tinder box, we're in a burn ban and that's a big ass fire.

The multiple fire trucks are constantly pumping water to keep the fire from spreading, they can't put it out. Diesel fires just have to burn themselves out. We have no water pressure and they're trucking tankers of water in from outlying municipalities. If there is a grass fire, with our high winds and dry conditions and lack of water, we're all fucked.

We're at home, less than 1.5 miles from the impact site, within the voluntary evacuation zone, watching the wind. If we have to bug out, I'll let wirecutter know so he can let y'all know. In the meantime, please send up prayers for the crew members and 1st responders.





28 comments:

Anonymous said...

Got my prayers!!!Julia-outside Dallas

Bobo the Hobo said...

Too early I know but how did a head-on collision occur? Things that make you go, "Hmmmm".

Irish said...

Stay safe Angel.

That must have been a hell of a crash.

J Bogan said...

Woke up to this on the news. Scary to be so close, glad all is well for you. My shop is less than 100 yards from the mainline here, so far, so good. Except the occasional pedestrian.

wirecutter said...

Yeah, I'm on it.

In the Amarillo paper is a statement from one of the locals and he says "I've seen a few train wrecks and this one was a bad one" or something to that effect.
Are train wrecks that common in northern Texas that somebody can honestly lay claim to witnessing 'a few' of them?
Or was the town drunk?

Anonymous said...

I read about two others. One was a three train wreck. Eastbound stopped, another eastbound hit it then a westbound hie some of the derailed cars. In another wreck the engineer sued BNSF and won something like 1.8 million. Had a switch in the wrong position. All in the Amarillo area.
I hope you and Miss Lisa only drank the bottled water when you were there.
Yea, now you know how in hell can you have a three train wreck.
Maybe Angel has more detail.
Terry
Fla.

hiswiserangel said...

Derailments are considered wrecks. So are train/vehicle encounters. Not all train wrecks involve more than one train, just as not all car wrecks involve more than one car. But let me tell you about the time an east bound from LA hit the cattle hauler that was stalled on the tracks....

Anonymous said...

This one also might call for a new "Reactions" button.

Put me down for a "Yikes!"

=T.W.=

drjim said...

Prayers sent, Angel!

Lisa Lane said...

Prayers Up, Angel!

Chickenmom said...

Just saw an e-mail from Terry, Please stay safe. Prayers being sent for all involved..

Anonymous said...

How the heck!?!??! Who hacked into the computer that controls that section of rail????
Steve

Phil said...

Stay safe ya little knothead. whatever you do! I don't want anything else bad happening to you. Yer my favorite Red Head right behind Carol Burnette.

1776vtgmb said...

This looks like an equipment failure, not human error on the part of the crews. If they were approaching on parallel tracks, there would have been just seconds to recognize that it was a 'cornfield meet'.... both on the same track. I used to ride trains at night as a teenager in the 1950s and at night, after the headlights get dimmed, you just pray that the other job is on the other track. At a combined speed of over 100mph... it's just a few heartbeats for the meet to take place.

These engines are, believe it or not, made to glance off each other in case of a head-on, I've been told. Some kind of a design of the front of the engine that makes it act like a wedge during a head-on accident with another similar locomotive. The two wedges slide past each other - - - -

If a tornado sounds like a freight train, a train wreck must sound like a bunch of tornadoes?

Anonymous said...

Sometimes if your in the voluntary evac zone its a good idea to leave early rather than with everyone else when it becomes manditory.

Exile1981

Sedition said...

Stay safe Angel. Pay attentionn to the pup's nose. He may let you know about any wind shift before the human nose can detect it.

hiswiserangel said...

"Favorite redhead next to Carol Burnette", that is the nicest thing anyone has ever said to me.

Exile, We're talking evacuation of maybe 82 people in the evac zone. They actually suggested everyone move from the evac zone 4 blocks west and 5 blocks north to the War Veterans Memorial.

Sedition, Max wanted to go TOWARDS the wreckage. I ain't following him anywhere.

Anonymous said...

As long as there is none of that damn saw tooth grass that catches fire even green or wet to run in.....Y'all stay safe. And let us know if you have to run. We'll keep you in our prayers---Ray

Anonymous said...

Thank goodness it wasn't the train I saw outside Fort Riley Sunday with the M1 Abrams and other military vehicles. We couldn't fight
ISIS with our hardware in a pile in Panhandle! Or declare martial law

Be safe!

BaconLover

Anonymous said...

Stay safe Angel! Prayers will be offered up for you and yours and the people involved.

When I was younger, I saw a train hit a car that tried to beat it. Not a pretty sight. I can only imagine the sounds you heard with two trains hitting head on.

-CM

Granny said...


fookin' 'ell!!
It just goes to show that disaster can strike any time any where. It chills your heart when it happens to people you know and care about.
Pack up and go NOW! It's a pain in the patootie, but better safe then sorry. Positive thoughts for the best possible outcome for all concerned.

GruntOfMonteCristo said...

Geeez, Angel. Hang in there! We're just over here in Denver and just got heavy rains, but heard how hot and dry you were. Hope the winds behave!

OldAFSarge said...

Stay safe Angel!

HeroHog said...

Sitrep? Prayers for all...

Anonymous said...

Okay evidently blogger ate my comment, but will be praying for you and yours, plus those involved with dealing with the train mess.

When I was young, I saw a train hit a car that tried to beat it. I can only imagine how awful the noise and mess is from two trains colliding.

Stay safe!

-CM

Sedition said...

"Sedition, Max wanted to go TOWARDS the wreckage. I ain't following him anywhere."

Well there ya go. If he starts scratching at the door to get out to the fire, drag his ass in the opposite direction.

BW Bandy said...

Unreal.

Shannon Carter said...

Oh my goodness! How terrible....please stay safe!!