Texas City Disaster

Texas City Disaster

April 16, 1947:

Docked in Texas City, TX, the S.S. Grandcamp, loaded with a cargo 2,300 tons of ammonium nitrate fertilizer, suddenly and mysteriously caught fire. After failed attempts to extinguish the flames, the cargo exploded, launching the cargo 2,000-3,000 feet in the air and causing a 15-foot tidal wave.  The shock could be felt as far as 250 miles away. The S.S. High Flyer, also loaded with ammonium nitrate, ignited and also exploded 16 hours later.—NOAA


  • Nearly 600 confirmed fatalities
  • Thousands injured
  • Town decimated

Related Resources:

Photo: (Credit: Alfred S. Gerson/wiki user)The Wilson B. Keene. The large piece of shrapnel in the foreground is probably a piece of the Grandcamp.


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