Truxton Joseph Hathaway Jr.  

January  9, 1940  -  October 19, 1971 at age 31  


Born :   in Houston, Texas                
Entered Fire Department :
February 15, 1961 
Duty :
Fire Inspector assigned to the Train Academy  
Buried :
Forest Park Cemetery, Lawndale,  Gethsemani 55, Plot 491, Space 8

Houstonís infamous Mykawa Road catastrophe was where Truxton Hathaway lost his life. The Mykawa Road train derailment and ensuing explosions injured more than 35 people. This disaster, like another well-known Texas disaster, the Texas City explosion of 1947, involved two explosions only a short interval apart. In the Mykawa Road disaster, the violent blasts came forty minutes apart with the second one doing the most damage.

On October 19, an 82 car Missouri Pacific Railroad train had been making its way into Houston when it passed over a track that was being repaired. The track did not hold up under the weight of the loaded rail cars and caused derailment and a major explosion. The first explosion was from a tank car containing vinyl chloride, while the second tank car explosion contained butadiene. The main reason so many fire fighters were hurt was that fire officials did not have information on the chemicals in the rail cars, making it hard for them the handle the situation properly.

Truxton Hathaway was assigned to the Fire Department Training Academy. When the explosion occurred, Hathaway took a camera to the scene to record the incident for future training purposes. He arrived on the scene and began recording the incident when the second tank car exploded, sending a wall of fire over Truxton and killing him instantly.

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