The spectacular fireballs resulting from the derailment of Canadian Pacific (CP) Railway Train 54 in Mississauga, Ontario, just before midnight on Saturday, November 10, 1979, evoked widely different reactions in people with different interests: The poet

“A fiery orange ball turning midnight into noon and evoking images of Dante’s Inferno.”

The householder

“Let’s get the hell out of here.”

The railroad engineer

“Jesus Christ, one of them tankers just blew up.”

The firefighter

“There’ll be no more movies for us tonight.”

The police officer

“I must proceed toward the location of this occurrence to serve and protect.”

The forensic scientist

“Wow, there’s a lot of chemistry going on there.”