Fort Worth, TX Bomber Explosion, May 1959


Fort Worth, Tex. -- (UP) -- Air Force Investigators closely examined today the black hulk of the super-secret, supersonic B-58 "Hustler" Bomber that exploded and burned, killing one workman and injuring 13 others.
The delta wing four-jet plane, believed to be the world's fastest and most expensive bomber, burst into flames at the Convair Aircraft plant late yesterday as a maintenance crew swarmed over it.
The plane was being prepared for a maiden flight.
G. W. JOHNSON of Lillian, a community southeast of Fort Worth, perished in the flames. Eight of the 13 workers who were burned were so seriously hurt they required hospitalization.
One witness said flames shot 50 feet into the air as the crewmen, some with their hair and clothing aflame, jumped and crawled away from the flight line near the plant when it erupted.
Heavy black clouds of smoke were visible in downtown Fort Worth, eight miles away.
The bomber, which carries a crew of three, is capable of carrying nuclear weapons, but a Convair spokesman said no weapons or explosives were on board.
"We don't know the cause of the fire and probably won't until the Air Force gets through investigating," the spokesman said.
Ambulance drivers said several of the eight workmen rushed to Harris Hospital in Fort Worth were severely burned.

Waco News Tribune Texas 1959-05-15