1979 CSX Railroad Car Explosion
In 1979, a CSX railroad car carrying 9,000 gallons of highly concentrated sulfuric acid overturned and the Fairfield Homes public housing complex was temporarily evacuated. The same year, there was an explosion at British Petroleum (BP) Oil Company that set off a seven-alarm fire.[i]
The events of 1979 led to the desire to relocate residents of the public housing complex and later the entire industrial peninsula.
[i] CSX (Chessie System) had by the 1970s bought out numerous regional rail companies, including the B&O. Allegra Bennett, “700 Persons Evacuated as Tank Car Overturns: Acid, Chlorine, Alcohol on train,” Baltimore Sun, May 10, 1979; Catherine A. Strott, “Residents Outraged,” Baltimore Sun, May 10, 1979; Patrick Gilbert, “You Better get Dressed, the Sky’s on Fire,” Baltimore Sun, July 23, 1979.