Man recounts surviving Texas City explosions - 12 News KBMT and K-JAC. News, Weather and Sports for SE Texas

Man recounts surviving Texas City explosions

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Tuesday was the 66th Anniversary of the Port of Texas City explosions that claimed the lives of nearly 600 people. 

A survivor's story provides some insight into what our neighbors in Central Texas may be experiencing.

Frankie Langston was just 9 years old in 1947. There was a fire onboard the ship Grandcamp in the Port of Texas City. 

Attempts to control the fire failed the ship's cargo ammonium nitrate ignited and the vessel exploded.

All but one member of the local fire department was killed. The total number of people killed was officially listed at 567. 

"The steel the ship was made up of, all that flew through the air and into the buildings and caught them on fire. It was awful," Langston said. 

The SS High Flyer was in dock for repairs and also carrying ammonium nitrate it was ignited by the first explosion and blew up about 16 hours later.

The blast in Texas City could be felt as far away as Port Arthur and Louisiana. 

There is now a museum in Texas City dedicated to the 1947 explosion. Langston was there Saturday with other survivors of the blast.


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