On that unforgettable morning — March 4, 1996 — an eastbound Wisconsin Central Ltd. freight train traveling at 48 mph derailed on the city’s north side. More than 30 railcars, including 16 tankers loaded with hazardous materials, slammed into one another. Seven tankers containing liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) ruptured and ignited. Several hours later, a tanker erupted in a BLEVE (boiling liquid expanding vapor explosion), sending a large fireball into the sky.
Had all the tankers exploded, the entire community could have received concussion damage to structures, and anybody within the blast zone likely would have been killed.
The good news is that, if such a disaster were to occur today, emergency personnel are better prepared to respond.
Read the full story at Green Bay Press Gazette.