Ten Years on 10: Deadly Graniteville train crash, chemical spill

GRANITEVILLE, SC (WIS) - The end of 2009 means the beginning of a new decade, and WIS has been taking a look back at 10 stories that deeply affected South Carolina.

Number 10 was the train crash and deadly chemical spill in Graniteville. The date was January 6, 2005.

The people of the small town of Graniteville were awakened by the sound.

A train carrying chlorine to the Avondale Mills textile plant crashed in downtown, releasing a cloud of toxic gas. Much of Graniteville was evacuated.

Then-state Senator Tommy Moore was one of the first public officials to get a look at the scene.

"I did not see anything moving. I didn't see cats, dogs, cars...it was like something out of the twilight zone," said Sen. Moore.

It was one of the nation's deadliest chemical spills in years.

By the end of 2005, nine people had died, five from the Avondale Mills plant alone. Hundreds had been injured because of the crash.

The Graniteville accident was voted the number one story of 2005 by the Associated Press.

A lawsuit between Norfolk Southern railroad and Avondale Mills was settled for an undisclosed amount of money in 2008.

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