• Short Summary

    AT LEAST SEVEN MEN ARE DEAD IN THE FIRE THAT BURNED FOR 18 (eighteen) HOURS IN HOUSTON, TEXAS.

  • Description

    AT LEAST SEVEN MEN ARE DEAD IN THE FIRE THAT BURNED FOR 18 (eighteen) HOURS IN HOUSTON, TEXAS.

    THIS MORNING, THE WORST SEEMS TO BE OVER ... THE FIRE HAS BEEN BROUGHT UNDER CONTROL.

    IT BEGAN SHORTLY AFTER MID-NIGHT YESTERDAY AS A BARGE WAS FEEDING GASOLINE TO THE 20-THOUSAND-TON TANKER "AMOCO VIRGINIA."
    SUDDENLY, A FIRED DANCED ACROSS THE WATERS FROM THE BARGE TO THE TANKER.

    THERE WAS AN EXPLOSION.

    THEN ANOTHER. AND ANOTHER. AND THEN THREE MORE.

    THE TANKER BURST INTO FLAMES. ONE OF THE 43 (forty-three) CREWMEN ABOARD SAYS THE DECKS BECAME SO HOT .. THE SOLES OF HIS SHOES SIZZLED LIKE A STEAK ON A GRIDDLE.

    PIECES OF STEEL RAINED DOWN ON THE MEN AS THEY RAN FOR THEIR LIVES.

    THE BOATSWAIN .. RUDOLPH OZOL (CQ) ... IS 71 (seventy-one) YEARS OLD. HE WENT TO SEA WHEN HE WAS 12 (twelve), BUT NEVER LEARNED TO SWIM.

    "YESTERDAY", HE SAID, "I LEARNED FAST. IT WAS SWIM OR DIE."
    BY THIS TIME, THE TANKER GLOWED IN THE NIGHT. AND THE HOUSED WATERFRONT, WHERE MILLIONS OF GALLONS OF GASOLINE ARE STORED CAME ALIVE.

    FOAMITE WAS SPREAD ACROSS THE TANKER'S DECKS.

    FIREMEN WORKED FEVERISHLY, WORRIED THAT A SPARK MIGHT IGNITE THE GAS TANKS. EIGHT-THOUSAND PEOPLE WHO LIVE ALONG THE WATERFRONT LEFT THEIR HOMES. AND THE FIRE-FIGHTERS CONTINUED THEIR RACE AGAINST DEATH.

    IT WASN'T UNTIL 6:30 LAST NIGHT THAT FIREMEN ANNOUNCED THEY HAD THE FLAMES UNDER CONTROL.

    AT LEAST SEVEN DEAD ... 44 (forty-four) INJURED ... THREE, INCLUDING THE CAPTAIN OF THE TANKER, STILL MISSING.

    EIGHTEEN HOURS OF DREADFUL SUSPENSE HAVE COME TO AN END IN HOUSTON.

    THE WORST SEEMS TO BE OVER.

    AT HOMES, THIS WAS THE SCENE IN HOUSTON, TEXAS, AS FIREMEN FOUGHT A WATERFRONT BLAZE THAT TOOK THE LIVES OF SEVEN CREW-MEN ABOARD THE TANKER "AMOCO VIRGINIA" EARLY SUNDAY. THE TWENTY-THOUSAND TON TANKER BURST INTO FLAMES WHILE LOADING OIL AND GASOLINE. FOUR NINETEEN HOURS (CQ) -- WHILE A SERIES OF EXPLOSIONS JARRED THE COMPLEX OF PETROLEUM STORAGE TANKS AND INDUSTRIAL BUILDINGS ALONG THE HOUSTON WATERFRONT -- THREE HUNDRED FIREMEN POURED WATER AND BILLOWING STREAMS OF SNOW-WHITE FOAMITE ON THE INFERNO. ONE EYE-WITNESS SAID IT SPREAD LIKE A PRAIRIE FIRE ... A SOLID WALL OF FLAME 200 (two-hundred) FEET HIGH ENGULFING THE TANKER. A 72 (CQ -- seventy-two) YEAR OLD CREWMAN SAID HE JUMPED INTO THE WATER AND WAS FORCED TO SWIM FOR THE FIRST TIME IN HIS LIFE. HE MADE HIS WAY FIFTY YARDS TO SHORE.

    THIS WAS THE FIRST MAJOR DISASTER IN THE HISTORY OF THE 44 (forty-four) YEAR OLD HOUSTON SHIP CANAL THAT EXTENDS FIFTY MILES INLAND FROM THE GULF OF MEXICO. THE AREA IS THE NATION'S LARGEST OIL REFINING AND CHEMICAL CENTRE.

    THIS MORNING -- WITH THE TOLL STANDING AT SEVEN MEN DEAD AND 25 (twenty-five) INJURED -- INVESTIGATORS ARE ABOARD THE CHARRED "AMOCO VIRGINIA" LOOKING FOR THE CAUSE OF THE FIRE.

    ONE CREWMAN, WHO GOT AWAY WITH JUST MINOR BURNS BUT LOST HIS LIFE SAVINGS OF 34-HUNDRED DOLLARS, SAID HE'S HAD ENOUGH OF TANKER LIFE -- HE'S GOING BACK TO WORK ON FREIGHTERS.

  • Tags

  • Data

    Film ID:
    VLVA2JZXO0QFE7OB3U6PM38JVWZ16
    Media URN:
    VLVA2JZXO0QFE7OB3U6PM38JVWZ16
    Group:
    Reuters - Source to be Verified
    Archive:
    Reuters
    Issue Date:
    08/11/1959
    Sound:
    Unknown
    HD Format:
    Available on request
    Stock:
    Black & White
    Duration:
    00:01:32:00
    Time in/Out:
    /
    Canister:
    N/A

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