1947 Texas City Explosion newspaper article. - TMalmay

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1947 Texas City Explosion newspaper article. - TMalmay - OAMAttnAMUA · THB DAILY MBMBfOBI ~ 1HI...
OAMAttnAMUA · THB DAILY MBMBfOBI ~ 1HI Established in 1797. Vol. 150. No. 90. OWTARloJcOUNTY The Weather Considerable cloudiness to-night. and.-Friday, not" much'! change in temperature. CANANDAIGUA, N. Y., THURSDAY, APRIL 17, 1947 Single Copy, Five Cents FRESH EXPLOSIONS SHAKE TEXAS LATE FIGURES PLACE DEAD AT 400 to 1, Strike-Curb Bill ll .. · : ··-'-' ·-'!;· -..'' ·;.-.: · · In Position for House OK Today i - .'-;.····..,·. i. ',-*- .:,. JL WASHINGTON, (/P-- The House rolled its-potent' union-strike curb bill into position for passage today. i Some technicality, could "prevent a_ final- 'vote before tomorrow, but - -Chairman Hartley (R-N. Y.), of the Labor Committee, in command 6f;the'billi offered to bet a new hat that the 'House would approve it 'by late afternoon. The Senate may get down" to' action of its 'own, softer measure next · week. ' An eventual compromise will have to be worked out. · Tlie House bill got over Jjiree big humps yesterday when '-the House refused' to outlaw the union shop, which lets an employer hire anybody but requires -new workers to join the union later. ' ; ·" Permit industry-wide collective bargaining on a national scale. Company-wide dickering by unions would be permitted. Lift a ban on employer donations to welfare and health funds controlled by unions. This was the general picture: 1. Rep. Arends (R-I11), the party whip in charge of lining up votes, told a reporter a complete check showed 22 of 245 Republicans planned to ballot against the bill. Previously he had figured 18 or 20. '· 2. The 187 Democrats were split, apparently about 50-50. 3. Rep. LesinskKR-Mich), top Democrat on the Labor Committee. said the opposition is concentrating T*r- r-VI-rri^." ,.'~V,,,n.«l, V.r.1-,:^,^ ,, lnr.4. . . . . ,,, ----- t .j --- --- 0 --- --- . ----- ^ .^.^,- mmute motion to send the bill back to the committee. The objective there would be to take out the ban on industry-wide bargaining and put in a provision for further -study of . labor-management issues by a special commission. ^fl. Hartley agreed to accept an amendment by Rep/Kersteh (R- VVis), designed to balance the bill by forbidding employers to get together on .collective bargaining terms. He told reporters that it is only fair because -of Similar restrictions proposed for unions. ' But Hartley said he could see no more big fights ahead in the House. "We've got .the bill under cbn- trol," he declared. · Some Republicans and Democrats, however, want to change the method for handling "national paralysis" strikes. -The bill proposes to let the attorney .general obtain court orders to stall off or halt such tie-ups during some 75 days of mediation and .fact-finding. It would not actually outlaw the strikes. But "it would outlaw various special types of strikes, such as 'jurisdictional walkouts usually caused when two unions scrap over the right to do a certain job. 'No. 1 Communist' Gerhart Eisler (above), described as "the No. 1 Communist in this country," walks in the Federal Building;, New York city, where he was released in $3.0,000 . bail .pending his -appeai-atvcViri' J 'Federal Court, Washington, O. C., to plead to two indictments filed against him. Dewey Pledges State to Pay-as- You-Go Policy ALBANY, Off)--Governor Dewcy, warning tlie present generation not to "run away" irom jfa 6bli- gatiohs, has pledged his administration to a strict pay-as-you-go policy, even in the face of increased taxes. . · ... . He urged cities and local governments last night to follow the same course "and avoid loading themselves with debts "foolishly piled up over many years." Reviewing the 1947 legislative session in the first of two state-wide radio broadcasts, the governor added: "If we want something enough to ask the government to pay for it, then let's be willing to pay the taxes to support it." He said the present generation would not leave "our children" a free 'or useful' government' if it were "so "burdened down by debt that all they can pay' in taxes will go to pay off bond issues for the things we wanted and didn't have, the honesty or decency to pay for." Dewey made the remarks when discussing increases that will be added to the state personal income and cigaret taxes to finance the pending 5400,000,000 veterans' bonus on which the people will vote in November. Powers of Localities He spoke at length : on another controversial tax' issue--the measure granting broad' new taxing powers to- localities so they' can A 161 to 71 vote yesterday ' clinched the decision to 'suc£ by provisions, of the bill which Labor Committee members said would "stop John L. Lewis and his United Mine Workers from bargaining .with all the 'hundreds of competing coal companies together. ·'·· : "'·'·" ' He could bargain with employers in a group only if they regularly liave less than ;100 employes and their mines are less than 50' miles apart."" : But! a ·union could deal with General ·" Electric company for all its plants, or'the telephone indus- Iry for all its'companies,' as they asce not.regarded a's competitors. \Ttic'- effect; Hartley 'said,' 7 would be "-to .reduce.; bargaining. to "the c o m p a n y - " " Ministry Gains In Igpiilarify SARATOGA SPRINGS, f/P)-- Bishop G. Bromley Oxnam of the New-York" area 'of the 'Methodist Church says more and more young men apparently are choosing the ministry for- a career despite the allurement of high salaries in other- vocations. r Bishop Oxnam made the statement last .night at a dinner following a meeting of the Board of Ministerial Training and the committee -on ministerial' qualifications of the Troy Conference in connection with the" annual meeting 6f the conference here. : t - A memorial-service and a luncheon of» the Tletired ' Ministers' Association are among highlights of today's program. Wintry Weather in Upstate New York j - A . i-V- 4 *r-ff .·' ·;«.*"·,,*,' " * " ' A ALBANY, (IP,--Wintry weather limade'a reappearance today over A large - New .York' State area. ','. Cloudy and colder weather was forecast for Western New York today. Sunny and cool was predicted for eastern' New York. 50-50 Chance of Steel Walkout fl I IT H iff Says Iron Age PITTSBURGH, /P --- Stickers proclaiming "no contract, no work" are appearing on steel workers' automobiles these days and a few even have been* 1 plastered · in the United Steelworkers' offices here- possible portent of a major steel strike after April 30. That's the expiration date of the present contract extension between the CIO union and the United States Steel Corp. The original pact ran out Feb. 15 but was extended by mutual agreement. The steelworkcrs. who have given no official blessing to the sticker campaign, explained the seals were brought here earlier in the week by Chicago members of the steelworkero' committee negoiatj ing a new .wage contract with "bi£= steel." The seals,""borrowing a line often used by the nation's miners, read simply: "Deadline April 30--no contract, .no work." An official pronouncement on the. negotiation with U. S. Steel and the other steel makers will be forthcoming next Monday through the union's wage and policy committee, which' will ratify proposals made by the executive committee Saturday and Sunday. The main question is: will there be a steel strike as a result of failure after three months to scratch the surface of demands and counter proposals. Thus far, it seems unlikely that the negotiators will be able to break the impasse by April 30. The magazine Iron Age reported a "50-50 chance" of a strike, saying negotiations between company and union "have produced nothing." The steelworkers have listed li principal demands, headed by a "substantial wage increase," guaranteed annual wage, portal to portal pay, premium pay for Saturdays, Sundays and holidays, broader vacation benefits, the union shop as against the present maintenance of membership, and seniority rights governing hiring, firing and promotions. Early in the negotiations U. S. Steel, bellwether of the industry generally, made it clear it wanted to return to the open shop and rule out the dues check-off and that it was not inclined "to see eye to eye on the seniority demand. There have been no negotiating- conferences this \yeek, the first interruptions of the meetings in about three weeks. me jncreaseu .costs 01. cation.and government. ' " ·· The governor said this program, affecting counties 'and larger cities, gave them "greater freedom arid, power to' decide just how their revenues should be raised" arid would "let the people of each com* munity know exactly what it is spending and why.'" ' : He^also reviewed the new permanent minimum salary program for public school teachers, with which'the local'tax bill was coupl* ed, and his administration's .$70,'000,000 program' 'for temporary housing and emergency facilites for veterans. .· Dewey will complete his annual "report to the people" in another broadcast Saturday night -' when he will discuss the labor-blasted Condon-Wadlin law, banning strikes by public employes. '··· The Legislature passed "and Dewey signed a bill providing for a; 20 per cent increase in the-'present income tax a'nd-aiv additional''! cent levy on cigareis. both effective next Jan.-Iv if- the electorate approves the veterans' bonus. : ' The taxes, estimated '"to"'-yield 541.000,000 annually; -'would enable the state to' liquidate tlie 'bonus debt in 10 years instead of'-'the usual 40 for such bond · issues. Dewey noted that'bond's for the state's World War I bonus were still outstanding. He contended Nurse Ignores 8 Broken Ribs Stays fltir ork (By William C. Barnard) TEXAS CITY, #)-- the new ship explosions today that sharpened the sorrow and misery of this stricken city looked like "a giant' sky rocket, coming as they did 13 hours after twin blasts took hundreds of lives and injured thousands. It further stunned and dazed the weary citizens. At dawn searchlights still probed crumpled steel and debris that' cover uncounted scores of bodies. The blanket of black billowing smoke over the city is heavier than ever, the result of several ;new oil refinery fires caused by the newest explosions of the' vessel Flying High. Just after 1 a. m. I walked into a downtown store building where the casualty- toll was being tabulated by six men. 1 closed the door behind me, "walked to-the center of. the big room and a terrific explosion shook the building and brought plaster from the -ceiling. One man dived; under a table, another hit the floor, a third rolled. up against the · front door, blocking it.- two seconds later came a second thunderous blast. I yanked the door open; pushing the man out of the way and plunged into the street in a vacant 1 - lot. I watched red-hot steel streaming into the sky. A fiery' black cl'c-ud climbed to -2,000 feet. Then steel fragments pinged on the ''sidewalk Explosion Hits Texas Plants the dock area .the jagged were f a l l i n - like -rainf - In pieces were falling-like-rainf. W: H. Boucher, ' a volunteer helper from Goose Creek, Tex., ·was-in the-danger area, helping to free trapped 1 bodies from debris. "The 'Wast,'" 'he said, '"blowed Die buttons off my 'jacket. A piece of "shrapnel cut the right leg off; a man standing ri'ght""beside me. A Red Cross nurse Tielpecl me fix h i i n f a tourniquet. Her head - - - _ . . . · _ . _ · * ...... pa.V man was conscious'but he' didn't say a word. He didn't even moan. I stayed witlr him-until they brought up ; a' stretche'i- and carried him This is an aerial view of burning- industrial plants at Texas Cit.v, Texas, following the worst explosion in Texas Gulf history. : hain of blasts began on the Grand Camp, a French ship loaded with nitrate and then spread to the multi-million dollar 3Tonsanio ChemitJal corporation plant. ( A P Wirephoto) . " . ~ · · ' · · ' · \ - . . Hard-to-iron rayons should be rolled in a damp towel, then in waxed paper and put in your refrigerator to chill thoroughly. that a 10-year amortization the new bonus would save for the state $140,000,000 in interest that he said would be paid on 40-year bonds. The governor said it seemed a "deeply shocking thing that a people, out of gratitude, should vote a bonus to the men who rewon their freedom and then run away from paying for it, leaving the burden to their children and grandchildren." Dewey said he was "confident" the people would approve the' bonus. It will provide "550, 5150 and $250 awards for New York's 1,600,000 veterans their service. depending on Lobster Tails in Search for Homes SYRACUSE-, WD--The problem of the reappearing lobster tails has bobbed up in U. S. District Court. An indictment, opened yesterday, charged William Cohen of Montreal with causing to be introduced in interstate commerce, from- Montreal to Newark. N. J., boxes containing adulterated lobster tails. Assistant U. S. Attorney Edmund Port said the lobster tails were brought originally to the United Slates from South Africa, and ordered shipped out after they were foUnd to b^ adulterated. Port said they Wound up in Canada and then reappeared in the United Slates. PRIZE FIGHTER HURT DONCASTER, England, OP)-Bruce Woodcock's jaw was broken in his fight with American Heavyweight Joe Baksi Tuesday night, it was disclosed today. He is in a hospital here. The British heavyweight champion lost by a technical knockout in the seventh round o f ' t h e scheduled 10-round contest m London. . - . , * . ·Fifteen seconds after the second explosion ' rescue' wo-rk got under" way.- -A loudspeaker across from the^ City Hall ca'me to life '.\vlih a- man at the microphone profanely urging action. A siren wailed and then there was a chorus of wails and patrol cars and ambulances gunned up the street heading for the water front. "Tn---seven minutes ambulances had'returned, discharging the first casualties in a heavily spotlighted area back of the brick City Hall. · 'Mrs. Clay Martin, 38, Houston nurse, circulated among the - patients. She went on working in spite of eight broken ribs. All clay long she had been in the dock area, distributing coffee and sandwiches and treating the inflamed eyes of firemen burned by the thick smoke and gases. "It rained steel out there," she lold me wearily. "It was awful. A man near me got an eye knocked out. Another fellow got a foot cut off. I'm darned lucky to get out with broken ribs." Rescue workers are back at work in the dock area. Five minutes after today's blasts, embalmers were back at their jobs in a downtown garage building. The dead lie on benches and tables. They are embalmed, and identified, numbered tags are wired to their toes and then they are carried to the temporary moVgue, the high school gymnasium, which still contains the wilted decorations of a school party. Wrapped in Army blankets, the dead lie on the sanded gymnasium floor, sanded"because of the bloodstains. They do not lie in rows, Ther6 is no pattern among the dead. Red Cross 'Guess On Texas Deaths WASHINGTON", (/P)--National Red Cross headquarters today-reported an estimate th'a't the death toll in the Texas City, Tex., explosion may total 700 to 800. The headquarters said the estimate was made by Roy Wingate of St. Louis, assistant disaster director in the Red Cross Midwestern Area, and was based on reports Wingate received from the stricken city. Wingate reported, headquarters said, that 400 bodies have been recovered and that an estimated 3,000 have been injured. He said two blasts early today had caused 50 casualties, including one fatality. · ' The Red Cross sajd approximately 400 seriously injured persons are in hnspitnls nf Cnlvoslon and Houston. ' ' · · · ' " Oil Tank Blazes Constitute Threat to Rest of Community TEXAS 'CITY, Tex., (AP)--Dr. Clarence Quinn, medical coordinator appointed by Mayor J. C. Trahan, today estimated the dead at 650 as three new explosions rocked" this Texas coast industrial city spreading fires threatened oil storage tanks, At dawn a blanket of billowing smoke covered the city, the result of new oil fires caused by the newest explosions of the liberty ship Flying Cloud. _ Deputy Constable Herbert Whitmore of Galveston County said all Texas City was in danger. "If the wind turns back to the south. Texas City is liable to go," he said. If those tanks start burning we can't stop them. toll: 364 embalmed dead, 400 positive dead, another Cross had given him this estimate o'f the casualty toll: 364 enbalmed dead, 400 positive dea'd, another 200 to 350 estimated dead, 350 to 400 hospitalized, 3,000 estimated injured. He said this count was up to 5 a. m., C.S.T., today. · 'Miss Gertrude Giranleau, executive secretary of the Galveston County Red Cross, said latest information there was that the death list was about 400 names long. TEXAS CITY, GfPi-- The burning nitrate-laden freighter High Flyer blew-up early this morning as tugs tried to low her away from the Texas City docks. Sgt. J. E. Kent of the Houston Police Department said at least two persons were killed and 30 more injured in this latest explosion in a series which began yesterday xvith a fire on another ni- I rate-laden ship--the French freighter Grand Camp. As the fresh disaster struck, the bridles of 400 persons killed in yesterday's explosions had been counted at the Texas City collection station. City officials estimated the injured at -1,000. Mayor J. C. Trahan ordered emergency equipment, and ambulances to Pier 10. He said that although the four tugs moving the burning vessel had escaped, there were casualties aboard them. The High Flyer caught rire last night as fires set by yesterday's explosions spread, threatening industrial plants along the waterfront. Captain VolneyJ, Shown oC the Houston Police Department and director of rescue work in this disaster swept city, said that five minutes before the High Flyer b'lew up he had ordered .the evacu- ation of 400 rescue workers from the harbor area. Only :~p men were in the area at. the time of the explosion, he said. Shown said that just prior 1o the explosion the stricken High Flyer had burned away from its moorings and drifted against the SS Wilson B. Keene. He gave no indication as to damage to the Keene. Two explosions were heard at 1:10 a. m. when the High Flyer blew up . There was a third explosion at 3:15 a. m., but there was no immediate information concerning it. Shown said the two tanks of the Atlantic Oil Refinery already were burning at the time of thc'cxplo- sion. Earlier the state highway patrol said that an oil tank on the Republic Oil Company's tank farm exploded. All City in Danger Long lines of cars poured out of the city, indicating that many persons were abandoning the city after the latest blast. At Lamarque, Tex., Deputy Constable Herbert Whitmore of Galveston County said all Texas City was in danger. * Throughout the night relief workers searched the waterfront ruins for dead and injured, \yhitcs and negroes carried stretchers- bloody, oil soaked stretchers bearing the dead. Priests Weal- Masks . Priests, sonic wearing gas masks, as prroteclion from poisionous gases from burning chemical read services for each body as it was brought into the ambulance area. Some of the trucks pulled away with bodies stacked four and. five deep. Scores of bodies are piled on- benches and tables in a midtown garage and in a nearby school gymnasium. Dozens of cmbalmers were at work in the garage as people gathered outside in expressionless groups. Police cars with public address systems broadcast instructions to rescue crews, warning against looting and calling for "blankets, sheets, coverages." A . fire aboard the French freighter Grand Camp which was taking on a. load of nitrates' at pier two touched off the chain of waterfront explosions yesterday. W. H. Waring, vice president of the Texas City Terminal Railway Company, who had left the Grand Camp five minutes before she blew up, said the fire was discovered aboard the ship early in the morning. Firemen fought the blax.e with water and steam, but were unable to get it under control, Waring said. It was decided to tow the vessel out into the bay. but before the ship could be gotten away from her berth, she blew up at 9:12 a. m. Seconds later terrific explosions wrecked the Monsanto Chemical Company's Plant, 700 feet to the north, and the nearby Stone Oil Company's refinery. "I was working in a warehouse 25 yards from the ship when it blew up, Philip Flores, a young Army veteran, said. "The concussion knocked me down. I crawled over to some flour sacks and buried my head under them. Then a few seconds later the (Monsanto) Chemical Plant exploded. The roof and the walls of the warehouse were.coming down around me. I got up and ran for my life. Later I helped pull bodies out ol the wreckage. It was the most terrible thing I've ever seen." One man who worked in the chemical plant and lived through the explosion told this story: Survives' Explosion "I was getting ready to leave one of the buildings in the chemical plant when the ship exploded. It knocked me down. I got up and tried to run. Just as I did the chemical plant blew up. The walls and roof came down around me and knocked me but. It was pitch r dark "when I came to. I'll never know how I got out.' I'm a lucky guy to be alive." .T. K. Poage, engineer of radio station KTRH, who was about 25 miles away from the waterfront said he saw a flame shoot high into the sky and disappear after a few seconds. It was followed by. a big. column of smoke shape'd'-like', a toadstool. Some persons : ". said' t : hey saw' a ball of fire. thatiseemJ ed to hang iii the sky a,minute more after the chemical plant exploded. . ." - . . . ' ' · ' . Buildings, were damaged ja Galveston, 12.miles away| on the.other side of the bay. .The shock.of ; the- concussion was felt in Aplestirie| Tex., 150-mile's away ^ and in'-Port"" Arthur and Orange, 100 miles.'a-., way. . . ' .. : .. Hundreds of people had been tracted to the'waterfront by the fire aboard the Grand Camp." The death toll among these people'and workmen in the two plants: was- heavy. '··' · . ' ..-,). --.- ^ · The scene 'in. Texas ·City:..-.wais-. one of chaos.. The ^co.ncussiohVpf~ the explosions blew-in "wiii^oSys : and damaged:* buil'dings. ""'Stone v buildings in the center' bf-;.town'-were leveled. People' : walked a i; bout, in-a.'daze. .'·:····.'.·- ,?"-".'··. .-.".. 'Highways and causeways*Av blocked as residents' of -TeXa's-'C. who worked in Galveston hurried- to their homes and loved ones:,'-·;.',' Doctors, nurses, government'arid'- relief agencies quickly responded:' to the call of Mayor Traham for help. '.--'-·';--. · ; .'-. TEXAS CITY, (ff)~At. 1:10 a.m. there were t\vo violent explosions: as the burning High Flyer,...loaded with nitrate, blew up, as four tugs': tried to get her away from her berth. - ' .' " . .'; ·': . A secondary explosion occurred at 3:25 a.m.. but it was: far-. frb'ni as intense as the two- earlier.,'.It. appeared to come .from -one ! of the numerous oil tanks that dot the city. Captain Volney J. Shown of the Houston Police Department and director of rescue" work, said that five minutes before the High Flyer blew up he had ordered 400 rescue workers out of the dock area and that only 50 men were in the at the time of the explosion. : ' · Officials were watching closely the progress of rescue workers who for the first time since shortly after yesterday morning's explosions, penetrated the Monsanto Chemical Company plant,""located in the immediate vicinity of 'the initial 'explosion on the French' Vessel, the Grand Camp. Only a comparatively small number of tlie 800 employes of the company reportedly have been located. Collection station attendants expressed fear the chemical company dealh loll might push fatalities above the. 1,000 mark. Only police, military personnel and relief workers were permitted to remain in the city last night. An estimated 500 policemen, 250 troops and 250 special deputies were palroling streets. Danger 6,f chlorirte was reported to be slight; in that the only'known gases at the.Monsanto!.plant yvpre ' slyrenc, propane ,and" ; butanel Thousands of; homeless .residents were taken out · llie city ' bjr Army trucks, buses, special trains^ \ (Continuc.U on

Clipped from
  1. The Daily Messenger,
  2. 17 Apr 1947, Thu,
  3. Page 1

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  • 1947 Texas City Explosion newspaper article. - TMalmay

    Tom_Malmay – 13 Sep 2013

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