Port Arthur, TX Explosion of Tanker GULF OF VENEZUELA, Apr 1926
BLAST DEAD TOTAL STANDS AT 26.
THREE MORE DYING, 7 OTHERS HURT.
MORGUE CHOKED WITH SCARRED REMAINS OF VICTIMS WHO DIED ON TANKER, GULF OF VENEZUELA.
Out of respect to the dead as a result of the GULF OF VENEZUELA disaster, a number of Port Arthur business men have suggested that all business houses close Tuesday between the hours of 11 a.m. and 12 o'clock noon. The banks of the city have taken the lead in the matter and all other business concerns are expected to join in the move.
Shortly after noon today, the casualty list in the explosion aboard the tanker GULF OF VENEZUELA, here, Sunday morning stood at 26 dead, three dying and seven seriously injured.
The blast, which occurred at 2:45 a.m. Sunday, caught most of the men asleep in their bunks and it is generally conceded by physicians that death in most cases was instantaneous, as they say the explosion was of sufficient violence to stop the heart action of those inside the hold of the vessel.
The work of identification was made very difficult by the charred condition of the bodies, individual identification being possible in only eight of the twenty-five cases. The names of the other 17 dead are known, but they cannot be individually identified.
While preparations are being made to bury most of the bodies this afternoon, officials of the Gulf company, have under way a thorough investigation, to determine if possible the exact cause of the disaster, several theories having been advanced as to how the gasoline vapors were ignited.
The disaster is the worst in the history of Sabine district refineries, and while the vessel was a raging inferno for a time, the company's fire fighters, experienced in the fighting of oil fires, succeeded with the use of chemicals in confining the greatest damage to amidship in the vicinity of the explosion, and the work of removing the dead and injured was soon under way.
As the homes of practically all the dead are far distant, it is anticipated that they will all be buried here.