Each year, the Texas City Museum and The Daily News team up to take of photo of the survivors of the Texas City Disaster.
April 16 — next Wednesday — will be the 67th anniversary.
If you’re a survivor of that horrific day, we hope you’ll meet us Saturday at the museum to take the picture.
This is one of our community’s traditions. If you’re new to the area, we thought you might like an explanation.
The photo will run in the paper Wednesday to mark the anniversary of what is still the nation’s worst industrial accident.
On April 16, 1947, the S.S. Grandcamp, a French ship with cargo of ammonium nitrate, caught fire. The fire put out orange smoke. Hundreds of onlookers gathered near the docks to watch volunteers with the Texas City Fire Department fight the fire.
At 9:12 a.m., the ship exploded. The blast set fire to the industrial plants and leveled houses and business.
Hours later, another cargo ship, the High Flyer, which was carrying ammonium nitrate, also exploded.
About 600 people were killed. Many were never accounted for or identified. More than 5,000 were injured.
That tragedy — and the decision to rebuild — was a defining moment for Texas City.
We like having a record of the survivors. A copy of each year’s picture goes to the museum. And the annual photograph has become something of a social event — kind of an informal reunion.
This year’s photo shoot will include a special recognition of survivors who worked at the old Monsanto plant, which was ground zero of the explosion of Grandcamp.
If you know a survivor, please help us spread the word.
• Heber Taylor
At a glance
WHAT: Texas City Disaster Survivors photo
WHEN: 10:30 a.m. Saturday; lineup starts at 10:15 a.m.
WHERE: Texas City Museum, 409 Sixth St., in Texas City
SPECIAL RECOGNITION: First two rows of seating reserved for those who worked at Monsanto when the explosion happened. Seating is on a first-come, first-served basis.
CALL: Texas City Museum, 409-229-1660