62 years ago today, a chain of unfortunate circumstances and decisions led to what is still the largest industrial accident in the Unites States.
The Grandcamp exploded at 9:12 a.m. Exploded is probably too mild a word.
The captain and 32 of the Grandcamp‘s crew died; 10 somehow survived. More than 200 people were killed on the quay. The blast was heard 160 miles away. It shattered all the windows in Texas City and half of those in Galveston, 10 miles away.
Some debris reached an altitude of nearly 3 miles before falling back to earth. Two airplanes circling overhead were blown apart by the heavy shrapnel. A one-ton piece of the ship’s propeller shaft landed 2½ miles away. Other pieces sailed 5 miles.