Texas City, TX Disaster - Explosion and Fire, Apr 1947
Residential District Escapes
The buildings seemed to be burned down, and fires were still blazing.
A refinery west of the tracks was also burning. Several oil tanks were blazing brightly. A few tanks were crumpled by the force of the blast.
The city's residential section did not seem to be touched. One large building on the south side of town had its roof blown in.
"Bodies can be picked up by the dozen in the first area, but you cannot get in to them," E. A. BOEHLER, Houston city policeman, said.
MRS. JOHN ANDREWS, chief nurse in charge of the first aid station at the Monsanto Chemical Corporation said there had been "lots of dead"but that the smoke and fire kept rescuers away from the bodies and, consequently, it was impossible to get an accurate check on the number of casualties.
Wades in Knee-Deep Oil
MRS. ANDREWS was forced to flee her first aid station, wading in oil up to her knees, because of the fire. She went down into the heart of the city and opened another first aid station.
A Chronicle reporter brushed against a Catholic priest, Father BERGS, who said he was from the East, visiting in Texas City.
"Were you in there giving last rites, Father?" the reporter asked the priest.
"No, they are all dead down there," he said, pointing at the fire.
"I was a chaplain in the first war and I never saw anything like this," he commented.
The fires at the Monsanto plant were still raging this afternoon, hours after the blast, and the screams of some workers, still trapped in the plant, could be heard by the firefighters.
One Monsanto employee estimated that 35 men had been trapped in the plant, and rescue was impossible because of the heat and flames.
Living Wait Dazedly as Dead Are Identified in Flaming Texas City
Bodies Are Stacked In Garage, School.
BY WILLIAM C. BARNARD
TEXAS CITY, April 16 (AP) -“ This tonight is a city of flames, torn steel, and smoking rubble, a city where the dead are uncounted and the living are too dazed and weary to cry.
Scores of bodies of explosion and fire dead are stacked on benches and tables in a brick midtown garage and in the nearby high school gymnasium. Outside these places the people gather in silent, expressionless groups.
Dozens of embalmers are at work in the garage and there the slow process of identification goes on.
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