Kingsport, TN Chemical Plant Explosion, Oct 1960
11 DIE, 60 HURT AS BLAST RIPS BIG CHEMICAL PLANT.
Kingsport, Tenn., Oct. 4 -- (AP) -- A thunderous explosion rocked the sprawling Tennessee Eastman company chemical plant late today, killing at least 11 persons and injuring more than 60.
Blast Rock Area.
The blast followed by several smaller explosions came at 4:45 p.m. and was heard for miles around in upper east Tennessee. It set off a fire which raged for more than three hours before it was controlled.
Firemen, ambulances and rescue teams from throughout the area converged on the big plant whose 160 buildings are spread over 400 acres. The holocaust was centered in a city block area of analine buildings where dyes are made.
The blast rocked downtown Kingsport, about a mile and a half away, and shattered the windows in at least 14 businesses. It was heard 20 miles away at Johnson City.
Most of the injured were taken to the Holston Valley Community hospital here. Convalescing patients were discharged to make room. Hundreds of blood donors answered radio appeals for blood.
Relatives and friends of the workers watched with shock as the victims were brought out on stretchers.
"I was there two hours and I didn't see a tear," said DAVID McBRIDE, Kingsport Times-News reporter. "The people were standing there in shocked disbelief."
Company officials said some parts of the plant -- which operates around the clock -- were being shut down as a precautionary measure. However, they said most of the plant would be operating tomorrow. It is a subsidiary of Eastman Kodak corporation.
EUGENE CLAYTON of Johnson City, a draftsman in the engineering department, said he was at his desk when the series of blasts occurred.
"My first impression -- I guess it was from my war service days -- was that we were being bombed," CLAYTON said.
"I dived under my desk and noticed that several of my co-workers did the same thing. There were more than two blasts -- I don't recall how many -- but it scared the pants off all of us."
CLAYTON said that normally no one was in the analine processing building, focal point of the blast, since it is operated by remote control.
He said he saw "hundreds or thousands" of shattered windows in buildings near the blast center.
JOHN D. LOONEY, 18, was knocked from his feet. "I got up and started running passed a man with his leg cut off," he said. "I saw another man lying on the ground. I guess he was dead."
"It was like a giant hand reaching out," said EARLE HENLEY of Johnson City, who was near the plant. "Plate glass fell like rain."
Several thousand persons are employed by the plant, which produces plastics, cellulose fibers, polyethylene and other chemicals.
The Bridgeport Telegram Connecticut 1960-10-05
The company listed the following as fatalities:
JAMES W. SAGE, JR., 28, Indian Springs, Rural Route 1.
I. D. MULLINS, 39, 401 Chadwell Rd.
BERNARD ARNOLD, 50, 249 Dee Lee Rd.
MANZE POWERS, 50, Jonesboro.
JOHN SQUIBB, 44, Telford, Tenn., Rural Route 4.
E. O. REPASS, 51, Hiltons, Va., Rural Route 1.
JIMMIE W. SANDERS, 27, Blountville, Rural Route 3.
DR. ANDREW J. CHADWELL, 29, South Holston Hills Rd.
ARTHUR H. STEVENS, 44, Indian Springs, Rural Route 1.
CORNELIUS Y. DEPEW, 36, Church Hill, Rural Route 3.
CARL COCHRAN, 53, Fall Branch.
Missing and presumed dead:
USIF HANEY, 45, Preston Woods.
JESS RAY SHELL, 36, 431 Wilma St.
Here's List Of Hospitalized.
Here is a partial list of those hospitalized as obtained from HVCH and TEC records:
DON BALDWIN, 1605 LaSalle Street.
HARRY BISHOP, 3905 Summit Drive.
LUCIAN BLALOCK, Route 4, Hiiltons, Va.
W. T. BOSTIC, 1222 Cherry Street.
CLARENCE BYERS, 258 Walker Street.
J. D. BYINGTON, Route 1, Church Hill.
EZRA CARTER, Clinchport, Va.
WESLEY COLLINGS, Route 6, Kingsport.
CARL BOX, Route 7, Jonesboro.
MRS. IRENE CRUMLEY, Route 10, Kingsport.
ELMER A. FORD, 1638 "C" Street, Kingsport.
RAY E. FORD, Route 7, Jonesboro.
J. W. GOTT, Hiltons, Va.
M. T. HERRON, Route 1, Gate City, Va.
CHARLES HUGHES, Surgoinsville.
S. K. HURST, Route 3, Kingsport.
J. D. JOHNSON, Box 123, Gate City.
CORBIN LANE, 236 Virginia Street.
G. W. MELLON, 115 East Carters Valley Road.
CHARLES MINTON, Route 4, Box 95, Gate City, Va.
U. W. MUNSEY, Route 11, Kingsport.
SANDFORD NEELEY, 1429 Dobyns Drive.
MRS. DORIS ORFIELD, 3203 Ridgeview Drive.
PAUL J. PARKER, Route 4, Church Hill.
ROY RACHEL, Route 3, Kingsport.
W. S. SHAW, 1505 Waverly Road.
VIRGIL SMITH, Route 2, Surgoinsville.
MIKE SOVIC, 1116 Lowell Drive.
W. R. STALLARD, Route 6, Kingsport.
CLAUDE STORY, 2609 Heatherly Lane.
RALPH WATERS, 726 Riverside Avenue.
Kingsport Times Tennessee 1960-10-05