Friday, November 18, 2011

Selkirk, Kansas, WIchita County

AP story from Dec. 26, 1956
A freight car loaded with a secret shipment of government exploseives caught fire and blew up at the edge of Selkirk last night. The blas broke out a least half the window panes in town. Amost every building shoed some damage. A 300-ound cunk fo steel hurtled a quarter of a mile into Main street and clipped power lines. But no one was hurt.
Selkirk is a town of few than 100 in western Kansas, about 30 miles from the Colorado line. The boxcar was in a fast westbound freight on the Missouri Pacific and railroaders said a hot box set it afire. An axle bearing ran dry of lubricant, turned red hot and burst into flame.
Crewmen cut off the train behind the burign car nad pulled into a siding. They also uncoupled about six cars ahead of the explosives and pulled ahead. Debris from the explosion blocked the mainline only a short time.
A Missouri Pacific spokesman in Kansas City said he didn’t know what kind of explosives was in the car “and I couldn’t tell you if I knew because it was a secret government shipment.”