As rush hour got here to an in depth at the night of might 25, 1950, one in every of Chicago’s new speedy, colourful, streamlined streetcars—known as a eco-friendly Hornet—slammed right into a fuel truck at nation road and 62nd position. The Hornet’s motorman allegedly did not heed the warnings of a flagger trying to path it round a flooded underpass, and the trolley, filled with commuters on their manner domestic, barreled into 8 thousand gallons of fuel. The fuel erupted into flames, poured onto country highway, and fast engulfed the Hornet, taking pictures flames 2 hundred and fifty ft into the air. greater than half the passengers escaped the inferno during the rear window, yet thirty-three others perished, trapped in entrance of the streetcar’s again door, which did not remain open within the resulting panic. It used to be Chicago’s worst site visitors coincidence ever—and the worst two-vehicle site visitors coincidence in U.S. history.
Unearthing a forgotten bankruptcy in Chicago lore, The eco-friendly Hornet Streetcar Disaster tells the riveting story of this calamity. Combing via newspaper money owed in addition to the Chicago Transit Authority’s reputable records, Craig Cleve vividly brings to existence this terrible disaster. Going past the old list, he tracks down people who have been current on that fateful day on kingdom and 62nd: eyewitnesses, reporters, even survivors whose lives have been perpetually replaced by means of the twist of fate. Weaving those resources jointly, Cleve unearths the awesome mix of typical occasions, human blunders, and mechanical failure that ended in the catastrophe, and this relocating historical past recounts them—as good because the conflagration’s human drama—in gripping detail.