Flynn was bruised when the car checker’s office around him was violently shaken; and Simcock and Miller were scraped as they ducked under near-by cars to avoid the meteoric strike of debris where they once stood. By another stroke of good fortune, a train headed for Toronto had barely left the yard before the chaos ensued; undoubtedly reducing the potential injury and damage tally greatly.
The second the explosion was heard, both the Grand Trunk and Stratford fire brigades were at the scene, along with a number of railway officials and members of the salvage corps, to extinguish what small fires had ignited, assist in evacuating the injured from further harm, rope off the area to any unauthorized personnel and begin the cleanup process. The job was performed so quick and efficiently that not only did any local passenger train not experience any kind of delay, but it was said that by noon the following day, any stranger to the area wouldn’t have been able to find any evidence that any disaster of any kind had recently occurred. In total, approximately twenty-three cars were destroyed, fifty more
had their structures stripped away with only their platforms remaining and another fifty were only slightly damaged; adding to the damages caused to the surrounding buildings, track and the like, as well as the loss of freight, over $100,000, over $10,000,000 with inflation, worth of damage was done.
Initially, the cause of the blast was believed to be one of the cases of vigorite falling over when the box car was bumped in the shunting process; however, an inquest into the disaster revealed the more likely cause of powder leaking onto the track and under the wheels. Further investigation revealed that the vigorite wasimproperly labelled as rough blasting powder and placed on a common box car; inappropriate for the
transportation of such a volatile substance.