I have been sharing vintage haz mat training videos over the last few days and asked that while watching, you consider if any of these could happen today and how we can continue to improve our response to these incidents. Post 1 featured a gasoline bulk storage plant fire and the first time BLEVE was used, while post 2 demonstrated right and wrong versions of a hazmat response. In today's final hazmat training video blog segment, we will look at the Texas City Disaster Aftermath from 1947.
Texas City Disaster Aftermath, Part 1 Texas Department of Public Safety 1947 (9:02 min)
Texas City Disaster Aftermath, Part 2 Texas Department of Public Safety 1947 (6:53 min)
The Texas City disaster which was begun with the Grandcamp's explosion triggered the worst industrial disaster, resulting in the largest number of casualties, in American history. Such was the intensity of the blasts and the ensuing confusion that no one was able to establish precisely the number of dead and injured. Ultimately, the Red Cross and the Texas Department of Public Safety counted 405 identified and 63 unidentified dead. Another 100 persons were classified as "believed missing" because no trace of their remains was ever found. Estimates of the injured are even less precise but appear to have been on the order of 3,500 persons. Although not all casualties were residents of Texas City, the total was equivalent to a staggering 25 percent of the towns estimated population of 16,000. All firemen and practically all spectators on their pier were killed as were many employees in the Monsanto Chemical Company and throughout the dock area. For more information on the Texas City disaster, go to the memorial website of Firefighters Union Local 1259. Twenty-eight Texas City Firefighters lost their lives in this disaster. This clip is from the 1948 film, The Texas City Disaster April 16, 1947 by the Texas Department of Public Safety. The entire film is available at the US National Archive in College Park Maryland.