When Steve Seeling hears the clatter of an approaching locomotive, it reminds him of the son he lost.
Ten years ago, 28-year-old Chris Seeling died in a train wreck that left a small town gasping for air as deadly chlorine poured from a punctured rail car in Aiken County.
The younger Seeling, a railroad engineer, succumbed in the toxic fog as he tried to escape the worst railroad accident at the time involving a chemical spill. The crash killed nine people that morning, injured hundreds and, for years, siphoned the life from tiny Graniteville.
“Anytime I see a train go by, I’ll wave and say, ‘Hey Chris, how are you doing?’ ’’ Steve Seeling said last week. “It’s hard. It’s just really difficult to deal with, even 10 years later. Your life is changed.’’