It has been 40 years since the Mississauga train derailment that triggered the entire city’s evacuation. A rumble that sent train wheels crashing into backyards.
On November 10, 1979, the Canadian Pacific Train 54 loaded with explosive and poisonous chemicals, exploded sending out shockwaves over 50 kilometers and flames shot out into the sky over 40-storey buildings high. Yet, it is celebrated as the “Mississauga Miracle”, as Peel Regional Police in partnership with hundreds of other emergency services worked tirelessly to deal with the unfolding situation that had the potential to take so many lives. The eastbound freight train with 106-cars approached Mavis Road, north of Dundas Street West. Only a few short minutes before midnight, the rear axle and two wheels broke off, causing 24 cars to derail, propane tankers to explode and others to catch fire. Brakeman, Larry Krupa was responsible for uncoupling two tankers allowing 27 cars to travel further away from the heat. His action saved the city from an even larger explosion. He was inducted into the North America Railway Hall of Fame in 2012.
The officers worked tirelessly while wearing gas masks and assisted in coordinating the evacuation of over 200,000 residents. They battled 90 tonnes of chlorine that was slowly leaking out of some of the tankers, a gas that as it became heated could have been potentially fatal if inhaled. Not one person died. That is a true miracle.
Now looking forward, 40 years later, the population has grown to more than 800,000 people. Peel Regional Police continues to serve and work together with community partners and those who live, work and visit the city.