The Texas Podcast Explosion
In the past two years, half a dozen chemical disasters have ripped apart Texas communities, sending dozens to the hospital and killing both workers and bystanders. The resulting podcast explosion has become one of the most popular shows on Texas Public Radio. Host Ernie Manouse is a veteran journalist who explores chemical disasters in the state. In each episode, he invites community members to share their thoughts and ask questions of the leading experts in the field.
On April 16, 1947, a massive fire on a cargo ship in Texas City destroyed all emergency services, knocking out power and water. Twenty-seven members of the volunteer fire department were dispatched to the scene. When they arrived, they found the ship engulfed in flames. Water and other fire-fighting equipment vaporized on contact with the SS Grandchamp. Within moments, all of the firefighters were crushed.
The SS Grandchamp was a cargo ship carrying fertilizer. On April 16th, the fire started to rage and the firefighting equipment was blown away. The entire fire department was left without power and water and had to scramble for backup supplies. A few minutes after the firefighters arrived, the SS Grandchamp exploded and killed all of them. Although the beast texas podcasts disaster caused hundreds of deaths and was considered the worst industrial accident in U.S. history, it was still a frightening experience.
In April 1947, the fire on a cargo ship shook Texas City to its core. The blaze destroyed all firefighting equipment and knocked out power. The twenty-seven members of the volunteer fire department went to the SS Grandchamp in the hope of saving the city from total disaster. In their efforts to save the city, they failed to realize the explosive power of fertilizer. The SS Grandchamp then exploded moments later, killing all passengers on board.
Another important component of the Texas City explosion was the fire on the Grandcamp. During the ship’s voyage, a fire ignited the ammonium nitrate cargo exploded. It subsequently destroyed several buildings in the city. This disaster was the worst industrial accident in U.S. history, killing 581 people. After the ship exploded, there were several more explosions in the city.
Luckily, the Texas City disaster was not a major catastrophe. The explosion killed three of the four firefighters from the Heights Volunteer Fire Department, and two were lost. The other one survived and was Alvin Fussell. The Texas City Heights volunteer fire department was devastated by the blasts, but he managed to save a dozen others. In the event of a similar catastrophe, a small community was wiped out, resulting in a devastating natural disaster.