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Witness Matthew Koch told a local newspaper he saw Zoila Tellez run from the vehicle in flames and fall to her knees with her arms outstretched as if she were reaching out for help.

Jose Tellez suffered burns, and his adult daughter, Addriana, who was five months’ pregnant, lost her baby.

In addition to the fatality, 11 people were injured, making it the nation’s single worst ethanol tanker accident. Nineteen of the 114 cars derailed. Thirteen released ethanol and caught fire.

In its final report in February, the NTSB cited the “inadequate design” of the tanker cars as a factor contributing to the severity of the accident.

The other accident in which a release of ethanol claimed a life was a 1996 derailment at Cajon Junction in southern California. The train’s brakeman, who was thrown or jumped from the locomotive, burned to death after apparently trying to crawl to safety in a creek bed.

The Ohio derailment forced a mile-wide evacuation just north of downtown Columbus. Three tankers, each carrying 30,000 gallons of ethanol, caught fire and filled the night sky with flames.

“The heat was so excruciating that I had to ball up and cover my body,” said Nicholas Goodrich, a grocery store employee who happened to be nearby and ran to the scene.

The cost of retrofitting existing tankers is estimated conservatively at $1 billion and would be shouldered mostly by the ethanol-makers who own and lease the cars. The rail industry points to its improving safety record, but that’s little comfort to communities like Barrington, said Village President Karen Darch.

“There’s a risk every day of affecting lots of people in one incident,” Darch said, “lots of property, but obviously most importantly, lots of people’s lives.”