Derailment in Panama City - It was like an open bar for conspiracy theorists.

An Outbreak Of Derailments – Stuck In The Middle Of Nicaragua – The Blonde In Nicosia – February 27, 1978.

Derailment in Panama City – It was like an open bar for conspiracy theorists.

February 27, 1978 – CBS World News Roundup – Newsbreak: PM – Network Hourly News – Gordon Skene Sound Collection –

February 27, 1978 – Derailment was the operative word of the day around newsrooms. Seems the derailment of a 42 car freight train, passing through Panama City Florida was only one of a rash of derailments of trains carrying potentially lethal chemicals the past several days. Panama City was cause for much concern as it was learned one car was leaking Chlorine Gas while another was leaking Propane and the big fear was the two chemicals would make for a massive explosion, killing many more than the 8 who were already dead and the 90 who were badly injured. Officials had evacuated some 3000 people living around the immediate area and were extending the area of evacuation to miles miles around the crash scene. It was only one of several derailments happening in recent days; all involving chemical tank cars and trains longer than 40 car lengths. Both the NTSB and the FBI quickly descended on the scene of the Panama City derailment and conducted an investigation. Many, including the NTSB were skeptical over the nature of the accidents and the discovery of loosened bolts on the rails led the NTSB to conclude it was sabotage – a conclusion that echoed over the several other similar derailments.

Nicaragua was flaring up again in the news – as the civil war continued on. Caught in the middle (seemingly as always) was the press, who were dodging bullets and assassinations from both the rebel forces and the government forces. It made for difficult reporting and even more difficult impartiality.

And a Blonde nightclub singer in Nicosia, Cyprus told officials her club was the scene of two days worth of loud, drunken and boisterous parties being carried on by the accused Arab gunmen who killed an Egyptian Editor and then hi-jacked a plane.

And along with derailments, that’s just a little of what happened on this day in February 1978 as reported by CBS Radio News.

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