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Highway under the HudsonA History of the Holland Tunnel$
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Robert W. Jackson

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780814742990

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9780814742990.001.0001

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Fires, Blasts Rip Holland Tunnel

Fires, Blasts Rip Holland Tunnel

(p.193) 12 Fires, Blasts Rip Holland Tunnel
Highway under the Hudson

Robert W. Jackson

NYU Press

This chapter describes the fire that ripped through the Holland Tunnel on May 13, 1949, as well as its aftermath. On the morning of May 13, truck driver Edward Tyndall pulled his sixteen-ton tractor-trailer rig out of the Boyce Motor Lines terminal in Jersey City and headed for Pier 2 in Brooklyn. Tyndall was unaware that his trailer was loaded with 48,536 pounds (twenty-four tons) of extremely toxic and highly inflammable carbon disulfide, stored in eighty steel drums. Shortly after entering the eastbound tube, Tyndall heard what he later described as a “loud boom.” Looking in the rearview mirror, all he could see were flames coming from his trailer. Tyndall opened the door and leapt out, leaving the truck to roll back into the left lane. Running for his life toward the Manhattan exit, he saw a truck up ahead that was stopped, and he climbed into the cab. The driver then sped off to exit the tunnel in New York. Drivers of other cars and trucks also leapt from their vehicles and began running toward the exit.

Keywords:   Holland Tunnel, accidents, fire, truck driver, Edward Tyndall

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