Doraville, GA Tank Farm Explosion, Apr 1972
EXPLOSION ROCKS REFINERY TANK FARM KILLING MAN.
FLAMES SPREAD TO HOUSES.
Doraville, Ga. (AP) -- An explosion rocked a refinery-tank farm in the northeast Atlanta suburb today, killing one man and injuring at least four others.
Flames quickly spread to a small housing subdivision. Witnesses said one house exploded and showered the others with flames, setting them ablaze.
The area around the Triangle Refinery, is owned by Kerr-McGee Oil Co.
Debbie Arp, 15, who lives about 100 yards from the tanks, said the blast
"sounded like an airplane had fallen into the neighborhood."
"My mother came rushing in yelling at us, 'Get up, get up, it's on fire.' And then we were all running out of the house and into the street."
About 200 families were evacuated and DeKalb County Police Chief F. D. Hand said he had been advised that the City of Doraville had declared a state of emergency.
Witnesses said flames were shooting hundreds of feet into the air due to the blast.
Refinery foreman Kenneth Womack said the tank farm has seven tanks, each holding a million gallons and that three of them had burned. The tanks contained gasoline, kerosene and diesel oil and authorities feared others would explode.
Womack identified the dead man as EUGENE SMITH, about 30, a loading clerk.
The four persons known to be injured were taken to a hospital where two were reported in critical condition and the other two in fair condition.
Womack, said the explosion occurred when a gasoline tanker was being loaded.
The refinery is adjacent to the main line of Southern Railway and several men were stationed on the tracks to keep trains out of the area.
A large group of law enforcement officers was on the scene along with several units of the DeKalb Fire Department which was fighting the blaze.
Ironwood Daily Globe Michigan 1972-04-06