Omaha, NE (near) Munitions Carrier And Auto Collision, Oct 1953
AMMO TRUCK BLOWS UP.
3 KILLED, 2 HURT IN EXPLOSIONS AND FIRE NEAR OMAHA.
SHELL BARRAGE KEEPS FIREMEN BACK 4 HOURS.
BIG MUNITIONS CARRIER RAMS INTO PASSENGER CAR; HEART ATTACK KILLS ONE MAN.
73 EXPLOSIONS COUNTED.
Omaha (AP) - Three persons were killed and two injured Friday night when an ammunition truck rammed a passenger car touching off a fire and a series of explosions about 10 miles west of here.
Exploding 105 millimeter shells kept firemen away from the blazing vehicles for almost four hours after the collision. When they were able to reach them the firemen
recovered three bodies burned beyond recognition.
The three men were presumed to be the MISSES LAURA and THEA McCLASKEY
of Geneva, Ill., and MRS. HARRIS PAIGE, 65, of Omaha, sisters.
They had previously been identified as occupants of the car along with MRS. HELEN McCLASKEY, 60, of Edmunds, Wash., who escaped. She told a reporter they last she saw of the others, they were in the car.
Seventy-three explosions were counted.
The co-owner of an Inn adjacent to the explosion died of a heart attack shortly afterward.
CHESTER A. DAGERMANN, co-owner of the Ten Mile Inn, which is located beside the highway at the point where collision and fire occurred, was stricken with a heart attack and died shortly afterward.
MISS LAURA McCLASKEY was 69, MISS THEA McCLASKEY, 75. They left Geneva eight days ago for the trip to Omaha.
A third car was reported involved but indications were its occupants were unhurt.
Col. Walter J. Seely, commanding officer of the Nebraska Ordnance Plant at Wahoo, Neb., said there were "512 rounds of 105 millimeter shells in the truck. They were completed with primers and seven powder bags per shell."
He said the collision apparently ignited the truck's gas tanks and the "fire apparently got hot enough to set aflame everything in the truck ... this heat started the shells bursting."
Hospital attendants said MISS McCLASKEY and LAWRENCE DAVIS, Omaha, driver of the truck, were brought in for treatment but neither appeared seriously injured.
Went Into Ditch.
Chief Deputy County Attorney Robert McGowan said the four women were returning from a visit to MRS. PAIGE'S daughter at Platte Center, Neb., when the collision occurred.
Both vehicles went off the right side of the road into the ditch and caught fire. He said he did not know how soon the explosions started.
McGowan said MISS McCLASKEY and DAVIS managed to crawl out of their respective vehicles but "as far as we know" MISS McCLASKEY was the only one that got out of the passenger car. The Safety Patrol
"has not been able to account for"
the other three women, he added.
McGowan said DAVIS, 29, told him the car in front slowed up and he pulled to the right to avoid it. A reporter earlier said DAVIS reported he was going "about 50 miles an hour when my truck hit the rear of the car. I don't know how I got out of the cab."
McGowan said both DAVIS and MISS McCLASKEY told him the flames started before the vehicles came to a stop.
The Lincoln Star Nebraska 1953-10-10