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Returning Evacuees Find Sick Horses

Tue., April 16, 1996

Rural Alberton residents evacuated after Thursday’s derailment are finding horses left in their corrals are sick - bleeding from the nostrils, some short of breath, many listless and lethargic.

The derailment early Thursday morning released a cloud of deadly chlorine gas. People were evacuated, but most did not have time to gather livestock. They are finding the problems as they return to the area.

Terry Stewart discovered her horses were sick and brought them to the Missoula Stockyards on Saturday.

“Mine all have red eyes, but the one is so bad she couldn’t hardly open her eyes yesterday,” she said, after Sunday’s meeting where some residents were allowed to return home if they wished.

“The eyes were puffy and I’ve been putting the ointment in over and over and over and it looks better this morning (Sunday), but last night she was so lethargic and her neck was swollen,” she said.

Sherry Gray said the horse that she took to the vet Sunday afternoon is a member of the family.

“He went to eat and he acted like it was hurting his throat,” she said, fighting back tears as she stood at the back of her stock trailer.

Stevensville veterinarian Stan Schwartz examined more than 20 horses on Saturday as they were brought out of the evacuation zone and found no sign of respiratory or other problems.

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