Texas City Disaster

A group of automobiles, reduced to junk and parked some distance from the dock area in Texas City is graphic evidence of explosions that ripped through the coastal city of 15,000, April 16, 1947. Blown open by concussion and battered by fallen debris, the cars stand scrambled at odd angles in relation to their former neatly aligned rows.

The Galveston County Daily News will take the annual photograph of 1947 Disaster survivors April 13 in front of the Texas City Museum, 409 Sixth St. N.

Lineup begins at 10:15 a.m. and the photo will be taken at 10:30 a.m. Attendees are encouraged to arrive early.

The Texas City disaster was an industrial accident that occurred April 16, 1947, in the Port of Texas City.

Anyone who lived in the city on that day is invited to be in the photograph.

The 1947 disaster was the deadliest industrial accident in U.S. history and one of the largest non-nuclear explosions. It originated with a mid-morning fire onboard the French-registered vessel SS Grandcamp docked in the port carrying cargo of about 2,200 tons of ammonium nitrate when it detonated.

The initial blast and subsequent fires and explosions in other ships and nearby oil-storage facilities killed at least 581 people, including all but one member of the Texas City Fire Department.

If it’s raining on April 13, the photograph will be taken in the Showboat Pavilion, which is just across Sixth Street from the museum. Golf carts will be on hand to shuttle people from the parking lots to the photo site.

The event is sponsored by the Texas City Museum and The Daily News. The Daily News will publish the photograph before the city’s official memorial service.

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