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Near Mobile, Alabama there was a railroad bridge that spanned a big bayou. The date was September 22, 1993. It was a foggy morning just before daybreak when a tugboat accidentally pushed a barge into the bayou. The drifting barge slammed into the bridge. In the darkness no one could see the extent of the damage, but someone on the tugboat radioed the Coast Guard. Moments later, an Amtrak train, the Sunset Limited, reached the bridge as it traveled from Los Angeles to Miami. Unaware of the damage, the train crossed the bridge at 70 mph. There were 210 passengers on board. As the weight of the train crossed the damaged support, the bridge gave away. Three locomotive units and the first four of train’s eight passenger cars fell into the alligator infested bayou. The darkness and fog was thickened by fire and smoke. Six miles from land; the victims lay as food for the aroused alligators. Helicopters were called in to help rescue the victims. They were able to save 163 persons.

One rescue stands out. Gery and Mary Chancey were waiting in the railcar with their 11 year old daughter. When the car shifted and began to rapidly fill with water, there was only one thing they could do. They pushed their young daughter through the window into the hands of a resuer, then succumbed to their waterey grave. What a picture of our salvation, especially when you know that their daughter was imperfect by the world's standards. She was born with cerebral palsey and needed help with even the most routine things. But she was so precious to her parents.


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