Graniteville remembers deadly train wreck and chlorine spill

By: Shalah Sasse Email
By: Shalah Sasse Email

News 12 at 11, January 6, 2008

GRANITEVILLE, SC --- It's been three years since the deadly train wreck and chlorine spill in Graniteville that took nine lives, left hundreds injured, and changed the face of the small community forever. A memorial service was held Sunday to honor the victims. More than 150 people gathered to remember those who lost their lives in the tragedy.

It's a day this community will never forget. January 6, 2005. Two Norfolk southern trains collided in downtown Graniteville. Several cars were derailed. A tanker carrying cresol, sodium hydroxide, and chlorine was ruptured. The chlorine caused severe respiratory problems for some of the victims. Nine people died in the accident. Hundreds more were injured. And about 5,400 Graniteville residents were forced from the area as part of a mandatory evacuation.

But on this day, it's a time for reflection. It was a service to recognize those who saved lives, and remember those who died. For Lillian Miles, this hits home. Her brother Alan Frazier was one of the victims. He was third shift supervisor at Avondale Mills.

"My brother Alan was more like a father versus brother because he was that compassionate and caring person," Lillian Miles said.

Miles said this occasion means a lot to her.

"I can't even express how it has just made me feel so good and encouraged that they do remember," Miles said.

The service intended to show the community's support and say thanks to everyone who helped save lives. Miles said its about commitment, love, and caring for each other.

"I just feel so uplifted. I really do," Miles said.

And as this close-knit community looks back on the tragedy that affected so many. They know their loved ones memories will live on.

"We want to every year be able to come back and stand in for our loved one," Miles said.


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