The town was lucky because there were several tanks of chlorine, as well as sodium hydroxide
in the consist.
Nine people died. The engineer and eight town residents. 5,400 people were evacuated within a one mile radious. 500 people sought medical treatment and 75 were hospitalized. Autopsies revealed all the dead died from asphyxiation.
Railroads move over 76,000 carloads of toxic inhalation gases annually throughout the United States, consisting mainly of chlorine and anhydrous ammonia.