Talk:Texas City disaster

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The angel statue on the photo is eerily similare to the Angels of Dr.Who episode "Dont Blink" —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:45, 5 September 2010 (UTC)

Where was it destined[edit]

The article is linked to the Texas City offical site.

That site says the ammonium nitrate was destined for war torn Europe.

Also, ammonium nitrate,especially mixed with fuel oil, is highly explosive under pressure. Either "dynamite" etc (as in Oklahoma City) or being battened down in a ship's hold.

Maybe the last paragraph needs a rewrite.


The link h

is dead - I have requested a better one from the webmaster there.

I am linking this whole affair onto the Monsanto page

Pdn 23:13, 24 Feb 2005 (UTC) pdn


There seemed to be some need for corrections and amplifications here, so I cribbed a number of facts from "City On Fire", and the U.S. Supreme Court decision about the disaster. The article downplayed the chemical as an explosive, which appears rather moot, not to mention inaccurate. In review of some of the other references and links, including ammonium nitrate, there may still be some divergence of opinion as to the comparative dangers of the chemical in its various forms; however the history of major explosions was already there, and there is little doubt about the origins of THIS explosion. Also, the Oppau case reported in City On Fire was much more devastating than indicated in that article ("over 1000 killed" v. "561" casualties). Because this was such a huge loss for firefighters (among others), I also created a separate section for information related to that, and added the Firefighting category marker. The "ship" was an American-made, recently French registered, resolving the ambiguous reference to a "French ship." Unclear what (if any) connection Monsanto might have to this disaster, other than perhaps contributing to the generally unhealthy conditions preceding it, as did dozens of other chemical and oil companies there. Feel free to diddle whatever else you think might need correction. Lupinelawyer 19:03, 22 Mar 2005 (UTC)

I have added a couple of extra links today - Jim. Tuesday 18 April 06


There is a picture available to anyone who chooses to put it in. It is Image:Texas_City_Diagram.jpg 14:56, 16 April 2006 (UTC)

The resolution of the image is too low to be of much use. -- 19:08, 3 September 2007 (UTC)


The 300,000 pounds and 140 tonnes doesn't add up.

--FAdmMatt 18:05, 14 October 2006 (UTC)

everything within miles[edit]

"Massive amounts of burning wreckage ignited everything within miles, including dozens of huge oil storage tanks and other chemical tanks."

I appreciate what is intended, but surely not "everything" within miles was ignited. There must be another way to phrase this. Perhaps there is data available on the number of fires that were ignited? Then it could be written such as:

"Massive amounts of burning wreckage ignited 500 secondary fires within a 4 mile radius, including dozens of huge oil storage tanks and other chemical tanks."

Just a thought. Thanks -- 06:35, 16 April 2007 (UTC)

Atomic Bomb[edit]

The Disaster took place two years before the Soviets tested their first atom bomb. The section is not cited but it is hard to believe the US military would have thought at that point the Soviets were capable of a nuclear attack. 16:36, 16 April 2007 (UTC)

That part is marked as "citation needed", anyway, but I'm not sure it's meant to be inferred that it was a Soviet attack, is it? GCD1 14:46, 24 July 2007 (UTC)
I removed these two sentences associated with nuclear weapons.
A seismologist in Denver, Colorado, initially interpreted the shock waves as an atomic bomb explosion in Texas [citation needed]. The explosion was so large that Strategic Air Command briefly raised the United States defense condition (Defcon) in fear of a nuclear attack [citation needed].
I can't find evidence of when Defcon was introduced, but I believe it came around in the 1950's. It's absurd to claim that Defcon existed in 1947, much less that the US would invoke it for an industrial accident. Second, it's quite possible that a seismologist misinterpreted the blast as an atomic bomb, but that information has little meaning since a lot of them didn't have a lot of experience with this sort of thing. And that's assuming it actually happened. If someone can come up with a citation that proves me wrong, then I'll be willing to let this remain though it's not very relevant. -- KarlHallowell 09:08, 27 July 2007 (UTC)
It was not at all clear that this was an industrial accident. Coming so soon after the end of WWII, and in a harbour, there was immediate and widespread belief that it was a military attack like Pearl Harbour, possibly by some secret new weapon. Even if they didn't think it was an atomic bomb, people didn't associate "largest non-nuclear explosion ever" with "industrial accident while loading fertilizer"

conflicting official death tolls[edit]

the article appears to mention 2 different official casualty estimates:

"Official casualty estimates came to a total of 567, including all the crewmen that remained onboard the Grandcamp, but many victims were burned to ashes or literally blown to bits, and the official total is believed to be an underestimate." this passage makes it sound as though the official number is 567 + possibly an unknown number of other people never counted

only a few sentences later is this: "The official death toll was 581."

this gives another number... so maybe it's possible the official unknown number of people blown to bits in the first passage is 581-567=14, but then it wouldn't be an unknown number. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Zackyfarms (talkcontribs) 03:09, 19 March 2011 (UTC)

Texas City Explosion[edit]

My mother's first husband was killed in that explosion. His name was James Dycus. He was also my father's brother. Do not know if he was on a ship or working at one of the refineries. Would like to view any history that may mention his name. My name is Aletha Dycus Kowitz. I know were James is buried. If anyone can help me in my research, Please contact me at Thank you — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:17, 22 January 2014 (UTC)

What grade of fertilizer was in the ships and storehouses? It can be fertilizer or bomb grade. So soon after WW2 there may have been a large surplus of bomb grade. I have never heard of a farmer exploding with fertilizer. 2601:181:8000:D6D0:2C28:2B4C:D97:C350 (talk) 11:43, 10 May 2016 (UTC)

Nitrous oxide?[edit]

Citation [3] in the article states that the steam may have fueled the fire by converting ammonium nitrate to "extremely volatile nitrous oxide". However, nitrous oxide is nonflammable and does not pose an explosive hazard. Can someone check? (talk) 02:04, 1 March 2017 (UTC)

Nitrous oxide is indeed non-flammable at room temperature! But the article states that the fertilizer was much above room temperature. But the Wikipedia article, second sentence says, "At elevated temperatures, nitrous oxide is a powerful oxidizer similar to molecular oxygen." Thus the statement you question with "dubious?" is correct that this chemical conversion added to the problem.
To be clear, ships pumped steam into a hold to drive the atomospheric oxygen out, thus smothering the fire. But converting the oxygen in the steam into nitrous oxide is just replacing one oxydizer with another. Nick Beeson (talk) 20:58, 9 August 2017 (UTC)