Marietta, GA Gas Explosion In Drug Store, Oct 1963
GAS LEAK CAUSE OF GA. EXPLOSION, OFFICIALS THEORIZE.
Marietta, Ga. (AP) -- A massive blast tentatively blamed on a gas leak shattered a crowded drug store at the height of a Halloween celebration Thursday night.
Seven persons were killed and 25 injured, 8 seriously.
The State Crime Laboratory director, Dr. Herman Jones, and other experts at the scene theorized today that a natural gas leak in the basement set off the devastating explosion. Jones took air samples and other specimens in an effort to establish the cause.
Firemen and civil defense workers worked through the night to clear debris in a search for other possible victims. The front portion of the two-story, concrete structure threatened to collapse, hampering rescue operations.
Hundreds of children and adults had come to the town square in this northwest Georgia town for a Halloween parade and window - decorating contest. Marietta, with a population of near 40,000, is 18 miles northwest of Atlanta.
The explosion occurred about 6:30 p.m. shortly after the festivities had come to an end.
Among the dead were JOE BEN CARTER, 33, and his son, TERRY, 7. They had entered the store to buy TERRY a Halloween mask. MRS. CARTER and two other children, DANNY, 10, and BOBBY, 5, were outside the store and suffered cuts from flying glass.
The other victims included MRS. RALPH FOWLER, mother of BOB FOWLER, executive editor of the Marietta Journal; MRS. BETTY JOE CARLISLE, 24, a store cashier; S. A. WHITE, an oil distributor; MRS. OFELIA SCOTT and MRS. MARIE BARFIELD.
All the dead were found inside the building. Twenty-five persons were admitted to a hospital with injuries. Most were treated and later released, but eight were listed in serious condition.
The corner drug store was demolished and windows were broken in stores next door and across the street.
The High Point Enterprise North Carolina 1963-11-01