“You see a bunch of dead horses in one trailer…”
WARNING: GRAPHIC PHOTO BELOW
Lisle, NY — The remains of 30 dead horses after a truck fire Monday night near Binghamton looked like a scene from a horror movie, one witness said.
The blackened animals were killed during a massive fire sparked by a leak in a 130-gallon fuel tank, state police said.
Chris Chordas, owner of John’s Body Shop in Binghamton, and his crew worked 7 1/2 hours overnight to remove the horse carcasses from the trailer, before hauling away the 53-foot trailer from northbound Interstate 81 near the Cortland-Broome county line.
Since then, he’s taken three showers to rid himself of the smell from the burned horses. Eventually, he put shampoo up his nose “just to have a decent smell again.”
“It’s more like a horror movie, you come up on something like that,” he said. “You see a bunch of dead horses in one trailer…”
The chief of the Marathon Fire Department agreed. “We’ve never dealt with any animal trailer, whether it be beef or pigs,” said Chief Dustin Contri. When firefighters arrived, flames had fully engulfed the truck. The horses were already dead once the fire was extinguished 10 minutes later.
The horses were being transported from Shippensburg, Pa. to be slaughtered at a plant in Massueville, Quebec, said state police Capt. Eric Janis. He wasn’t sure where the horse meat would end up after slaughter.
These plants take horses that owners either can’t or don’t want to care for anymore. The truck’s driver, Clarence Phelps, of Watertown, told Contri that’s how these horses ended up headed to the plant.
The horse plant in Massueville has been the target of animal rights protests. The New York Times in 2009 published two commentaries arguing for and against horse slaughtering. Proponents say old or injured horses can be an expensive burden for owners, while critics say horses are not supposed to end up in the food chain.
Roughly 35 firefighters from Marathon and Killawog fought the blaze with two fire engines and two tanker trucks. Whitney Point firefighters helped block off the highway.
Contri said the fire was caused by a leak in a passenger-side, 130-gallon fuel tank, which leaked for half a mile on the highway before igniting. The diesel fuel sprayed the tires of the horse trailer, causing that to catch fire…(CONTINUED)
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- Thirty Horses Burned Alive in Slaughter Tractor Trailer Fire (rtfitchauthor.com)