About 9:35 a.m., e.s.t., on September 24., 1977, an Usher Transport, Inc., tractor-cargo-tank semitrailer was descending a 12.6-percent, 720-foot-long grade approaching a left curve and a railroad/highway grade crossing on Kentucky State Route 11 in Beattyville, Kentucky. The truck, which was hauling 8,255 gallons of gasoline, crossed the tracks against the flashing red lights and in front of an approaching train and struck buildings adjacent to the edge of the road. It then overturned on top of a parked car. Escaping gasoline ignited and the fire destroyed 6 buildings and 16 parked vehicles. Seven persons died in the fire.