[16] Following this World War II battle, the world truly saw the rampant shift in ammonium nitrate from a peacetime to wartime material. Texas City Disaster Aftermath Part 1 1947 On April 16, 1947, Texas City, Texas became home to one of the worst accidents in America’s history. Mayor Bob Sipple wrote that the incident "is of such severity and magnitude" that the city cannot control the threat on its own. [43] Bode, Daniel, “Henry J. Baumgartner.”. [6] At the time of the explosion, two chemical plants, three oil refineries, and an oil tank farm (a facility set aside for the storage of oil), along with many other industries, were all within close proximity of each other, making this disaster hardly a surprise. The. [22] In the same instance, the government should have avoided placing homes and schools in such a close distance to major industries. [8] Pandanell, Mark, “1947 Texas City Disaster,” accessed December 1, 2014.  http://www.local1259iaff.org/disaster.html. Just like Christine had been wanting. In this case, the state and local governments should have been more cautious when expanding Texas City’s industry in the early 1940s, and the federal government should have stepped in to enforce safer zoning of homes and industries. Many photos taken after the Texas City Disaster are aerial views illustrating the infamous coal-black smoke or desolate city that most people associate with the event itself. The writer, presumably the newspaper’s editor, Paul Bellamy, captures the dramatic memory with a strong use of imagery: “Men and women at work were killed without warning when the city was enveloped in flames and smoke that rose high into the sky and blacked out the sun. Updated on: September 26, 2020 / 3:02 PM [34] Few sources, if any, have referred to federal and state programs when describing the available assistance in Texas City after the accident, and the only strictly local forms of aid that are referenced include the fire and police departments. In addition to the photo of destruction itself, many different businesses are labeled, including a propane tank, Texas City Terminal general offices, a grain elevator, the Humble Tank Farm, and Sid Richardson Oil Co.[29] There is clearly too much industry located within only a couple miles of the city, creating an extremely hazardous area whether the explosion occurred or not. T.A. [3] As World War II ended, Texas City saw itself continuing to prosper, and in order to meet demands, agencies continued to further industrialize the area. “Texas Disaster” offers a very sympathetic summary of the ammonium nitrate fertilizer blast. [47] I looked up and was just about killed by a piece of flaming metal. Acts of God, Ted Steinberg: Steinberg’s book presents many ideas that are similar to those in the above sections. [47] “Rescue Workers Take A Break During the 1947 Texas City Disaster,” The Portal to Texas History, 2006, photograph, accessed December 5, 2014, http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth11794/?q=disaster%20red%20cross. According to a press release issued by Lake Jackson on Saturday, the city first became aware of the amoeba after it infected a six-year-old boy. Therefore, there is no clear explanation for the newspaper’s intention of the photo other than to entertain its readers—a common motive among media groups. I remember seeing my daughter’s friend Forrest across the street at Lucas’s. Then we all split up and a few of us went back to the station for more equipment. Where were the other departments? [4] Nevertheless, around 8:30 a.m., the ship exploded and barely16 hours later, the S.S. High Flyer, a vessel docked nearby, also caught fire and created yet another massive explosion that only unleashed the preceding damages. Burned down to the framework. Based on documentation, it is easy to conclude that the explosive powers of ammonium nitrate were overlooked because of how important fertilizer had become for not only the United States, but also the entire world. "The impact of this threat is severe. During the Texas City Disaster, the majority of men on the S.S. Grandcamp were killed, as well as almost the entire local fire department. Continuing on the topic of regulations, most forms of disaster preparation were absent in regards to the state and federal government. [43] I don’t know what I would have done if…. [48] As far as ammonium nitrate fertilizer, its transportation and regulation became more controlled. Boys on bicycles, people in their automobiles were killed by flying steel and mortar.”, Like many stories written about the explosion, this piece only mentions the, One disagreeable excerpt from the article. While this does portray the extent of the damages, it also provides an excellent example of how the layout of the city itself contributed to the turmoil. I was trying to pull the wounded out from under charred, black wood and metal…Gasoline…it reeked. According to Paul Bellamy in. [13] Once this efficient process was unveiled, the first ammonia-producing plant opened in Oppau, Germany in 1913, and thus resulted in huge crop yields and a slight boost to the economy. [18] Ammonium nitrate was even involved in multiple explosions prior to 1946. A view of Texas City, including Lucas's Cafe, before the explosion. In a majority of the cases, people were infected in recreational water, while three were infected after performing nasal irrigation using contaminated tap water.

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