55 years later: Reflecting on the Meldrim train derailment - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

55 years later: Reflecting on the Meldrim train derailment

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EFFINGHAM CO., GA (WTOC) -

 

The devastation of the Meldrim train derailment is still fresh to those who were there 55 years ago. 
 
The tragedy occurred when a freight train derailed over the Ogeechee River, near the Meldrim community in Effingham County. A spark ignited the liquified gas inside two cars near the end of the train, causing a fire that swept through the river.  

The tragedy claimed the lives of twenty three people enjoying a swim in the river during the summer of 1959. 

"It was devastating to the community," stated Debra Anne Sutterfield, as she reflected on the incident that occurred when she was 4 years old. 

Those that died during the tragic incident are recognized at Meldrim Memorial Park, where a plaque lists the names of each victim​. 

 

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