I was 14 years old. The year was 1966. Our family was leaving town on our way to Shelton when we were detoured onto the Chehalis River Bridge to go through South Aberdeen.
I remember the terrifying scene of exploding tanks, flames and black smoke in the air as I looked up river. I was told the propane tank had caught fire. It was a horrendous sight. I remember seeing the river Weyerhaeuser people hosing down their large chip pile.
Imagine today, with the present developed area, should a tanker car train catch fire. In close proximity to the tracks, poof, there goes the Guest House Inn, Burger King, the Five Star Ford dealership. Twin Harbors Eye Center, Happy Teriyaki-Subway building, Dairy Queen, McDonalds, Pet Sense-Papa Murphy’s building, including extensive damage to all those larger businesses not immediately adjacent to the tracks. Property damage and loss of life is incomprehensible.
The Aberdeen Fire Department is not equipped to handle a scenario of this magnitude, and in all likelihood I fear it could not respond fast enough to prevent this catastrophe from happening.
Mrs. Ron Merila