Remembering Graniteville: One Year Later

News 12 takes a look back at the year that has passed since the January 2005 train accident and chemical spill in Graniteville.

Read some of News 12's stories about the aftermath of the train accident. Click on a title to read the full story:

Catching Up After the Evacuation
Jenni Zollinger works from home as a medical transcriptionist. When this Graniteville resident was evacuated, she of course left her computer and tapes behind.

Final Residents Wait to Return Home
It’s been two weeks since some in Graniteville have seen their homes following the deadly chemical spill, and there’s no word on when they’ll get to go back. The roadblocks around the immediate crash site are still up, and the nighttime curfew is still in effect.

Corroding Stops Church and Cars
The chlorine has destroyed property close to the accident site. News 12 found out some people have to make different plans this Sunday. Saint Paul’s Episcopal Church has a front row seat to the Graniteville accident site.

Back to Business
It’s back to business for Dean Williams, sort of. He owns a convenience store in Graniteville. Most of his regular customers are employees at Avondale Mills.

Back to Class
Another sign Graniteville is getting back to normal…Leavelle McCampbell Middle School and Byrd Elementary reopened today. Among the parents bringing back their children was Aiken County Sheriff Michael Hunt.

Norfolk Southern Estimates Losses
This morning Norfolk Southern held its fourth quarter financial meeting for 2004 in New York. News 12 listened in on the conference call. The first thing Norfolk Southern financial leaders talked about today was the Graniteville train crash. It appears this crash will cost the company money, but is not devastating them.

State Senators' Plan for Train Safety
It’s a new plan to keep you safe. Local senators are working with local railroads to form a new safety plan and it will affect people on both sides of the Savannah River.

Federal Money Denied For Graniteville Disaster
A thank you lunch provided a reunion for emergency workers who covered the Graniteville chemical spill. Most of them racked up a lot of overtime the first few weeks of January. But it may be a while before the county sees a check for the extra man-hours.

Responders Share Graniteville Lessons With F.B.I.
Responders at Graniteville’s train accident are sharing what they’ve learned with other law enforcement. Aiken Public Safety is getting ready to teach the FBI and News 12 is also helping out.

27 Years Later, Part 1
A train accident early in the morning spilled deadly chlorine gas into the air. We’re not talking about Graniteville, here, but a train wreck years ago in Florida. News 12 went to Youngstown in northwest Florida, site of another tragic spill in February 1978.

27 Years Later, Part 2
The train crashes and chemical spills in Youngstown and Graniteville are eerily similar. It wasn’t the impact that killed, in both cases everyone died because of a lethal chlorine gas that seeped from the wreckage. So what lies ahead for the Graniteville survivors? If Youngstown is any indication, there could be decades of suffering down the road.

Graniteville Reacts to Similar Train Accident
Those first responders to Graniteville’s train accident realize they are not alone in their experience. News 12 was with Fire Chief Phil Napier in Graniteville as he watched our special report from Youngstown, Florida, the site of a similar accident 27 years ago.

INVESTIGATION: Emergency Alerts
The Emergency Broadcast System has been around since the 1950’s. You may remember the weekly alerts on TV with the message “This is only a test.” Now called the Emergency Alert System, it’s still used for weather alerts and safety emergencies. But recently it has been criticized as inefficient and a waste of resources.

SPECIAL ASSIGNMENT: Dangerous Cargo, Part 1
What exactly is on those trains passing through our cities and neighborhoods every day? That’s an important question, especially after last month’s deadly train crash in Graniteville. Now, city and county governments are trying to learn from that tragedy.

SPECIAL ASSIGNMENT: Dangerous Cargo, Part 2
The deadly chemical spill in Graniteville was contained to a one-mile radius. It could have spread to an even wider area, but fortunately weather conditions cooperated. Local emergency crews are always preparing for the very worst case.

Railroad Safety Changes
After a seven-year attempt by a South Carolina House of Representatives member to change the way railroads travel through our community, the Secretary of Transportation is finally listening.

Graniteville Class Action Law Suit Details
The thousands of people who evacuated because of the Graniteville train crash are a step closer to seeing compensation. Details of the class action suit have been filed at the federal court in Columbia. It could mean up to $15,000 for a family of five.

Internal Report Says Good Job
Fixing a glitch during the Graniteville train accident could help you during a hurricane. A new report reviews what went right and what went wrong with the Aiken County Sheriff’s Office’s response to January’s disaster and it’s information that can help us all.

First Book About Graniteville Accident
Five months after the deadly Graniteville train wreck, a new book about it is being released. It chronicles the fifteen days after the crash, telling many stories of survival. News 12 has a preview of the book, in a story you’ll see only on 12.

Norfolk Southern Billing Questions
One man working at Avondale Mills the night of the Graniteville train collision says he was billed for a sleep study he thought Norfolk Southern would pay for. Who’s responsible for all those medical bills following the train wreck? News 12 has more on a big question, waiting for an answer.

Avondale Mills Announces Layoffs
There’s more bad new for Graniteville as Avondale Mills announces it’s laying off 350 workers. The company says it’s a direct result of the train wreck and chlorine spill last January. But it’s mixed with some good news on the health front. News 12 is on your side with the lingering effects of chlorine.

NTSB Safety Reccomendations
One day before the release of a new report about the Graniteville train accident, the NTSB is meeting about ways to prevent future accidents. News 12 is following the National Transportation Safety Board’s most wanted safety recommendations.

NTSB Graniteville Accident Report
The National Transportation Safety Board’s report on the Graniteville train accident was released recently. The 300-page report provides first-hand accounts of what happened this past January and is shows up close pictures right after the crash happened.

Reactions to NTSB's Graniteville Accident Report
In a new report released by the National Transportation Safety Board, we hear what went wrong on a fatal day in Graniteville. Among the statements are pictures of emergency responders measuring the hole in a train car leaking chlorine. News 12 is on your side with who’s to blame and how those in Graniteville are taking the news.

NTSB Releases Final Graniteville Report
Some new pictures you’ve never seen before of the first moments after January’s deadly chlorine leak in Graniteville. This as the government blames the wreck on a catastrophic failure of human performance. News 12 has the details.