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So I saw an explosion

Posted: Sun Oct 20, 2013 02:18 am
by Tchernobog
Around 1:00 AM, Saturday October 19, 2013:

The first thing we noticed was a bright orange light. The entire night sky was briefly illuminated in light. Then we noticed the power fluctuate on and out, and finally the sight of a rising fireball. The fireball eventually dimmed and was replaced by rising smoke that formed into a mushroom cloud. We heard minor shock waves, but felt no significant ground tremors. Rushing towards it we observed the cloud grow and then blow out and disperse. The glow of a local fire was evident, as the lights of vehicles approached the scene. The full moon suddenly became somewhat obscured, after an evening of completely clear skies, likely due to the smoke of the fire and the dispersal of dirt and debris. 

Turns out there was a train derailment and explosion less than 12 kilometres away: ... -1.2126678

To put this into perspective, here is the distance between our place and Gainford.

So yeah. Wow.

Re: So I saw an explosion

Posted: Sun Oct 20, 2013 04:18 am
by I Live...AGAIN
Only 1 of the 13 derailed cars carrying petroleum exploded. Sounds like they got pretty lucky actually.

Re: So I saw an explosion

Posted: Sun Oct 20, 2013 05:30 am
by Tchernobog
The fact it happened in the middle of the night also helped - it scorched a path right over the dual lane highway which would have caused damage to anyone who would have been caught on it, which would have been far more likely during the day.

Back when I was working in September we commonly drove though Gainford in order to get to sites, for instance. My boss's brother lived in Gainford for quite awhile, and only moved after he got sick of things being stolen because he lived right next to the main highway. In response, he moved right next to the RCMP station in nearby Evansburg. On my last day of work my boss told me that his brother's truck had just been stolen. Despite the irony of that, I think today he will still think it was worth the effort to move.

We also had serious problems with wildfires during the spring, with one burning quite badly just to the south of us by the river. If this had happened then during more favourable fire conditions it is possible that the fire could have spread out of control and even reached our place. It also did not violate any wetlands, like what happened in an entirely separate derailment in 2005 that spilled into Wabamun lake.

The people in Lac-Megantic way out east last summer though were not nearly as lucky.