Highball Express

Revelations about a wreck

On Sept. 28, a 101-car Illinois Central Gulf freight train carrying some dozen esoteric and highly dangerous chemicals derailed in Livingston, La. Though no one was injured, the ensuing explosion and chemical fires forced the evacuation of 2,800 residents. In Baton Rouge, La., last week, a preliminary hearing conducted by the National Transportation Safety Board revealed that there may have been another dangerous, if less esoteric, substance on board the train that day: bourbon.

According to testimony at the hearing, the engineer and the brakeman of the train were both drinking just before, and possibly during, the brief...

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