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Old 05-21-2019, 11:23 AM
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1959 explosion in Roseburg, Oregon


An interesting article in a car blog I read. 2 tons of dynamite and 4 1/2 tons of ammonium nitrate level an an 8 block area:

http://justacarguy.blogspot.com/2019...ding-fire.html
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Old 05-21-2019, 01:55 PM
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My father-in-law was just shy of two blocks away from ground zero when the blast occurred. He was 10 years old and his dad worked second shift at a local mill. He and his mom were driving through town to pick his dad up after work when the truck exploded. They were turning a corner and my FIL had his arm hanging out the window as the evening was warm, even though it was after midnight. He says the impact felt like his arm had been hit by a 2x4 and the back of the car was pushed to side a foot or so. Somehow it managed not to shatter the glass.

I grew up about 10 miles outside of Roseburg. Our neighbors had lived on their property since the late 40's and said the blast (from 10 miles away and through a fairly winding valley) was loud enough to wake them up.

Today there's a big boulder that marks the spot where the truck blew, it's in front of a car dealership now. I drive by it every day.
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Old 05-21-2019, 01:58 PM
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This is a good documentary about the Blast.
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Old 05-21-2019, 02:12 PM
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Very interesting. No mention of casualties in the blog post. Assume the cop died, but others? The city's site says 14 died.

The witness says he was 20' away, but despite 8 blocks being levelled, he wasn't described as having any injuries? He said he hit the dirt, but then something hit him in the chest? Just sounded odd.
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Old 05-21-2019, 02:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dinsdale View Post
Very interesting. No mention of casualties in the blog post. Assume the cop died, but others? The city's site says 14 died.

The witness says he was 20' away, but despite 8 blocks being levelled, he wasn't described as having any injuries? He said he hit the dirt, but then something hit him in the chest? Just sounded odd.
I think the "8 city blocks" bit is an exaggeration. In the OP's link there's a picture taken right after the Blast, you can see the crater where the truck was. There are several building in the adjoining blocks that are still standing and more-or-less in one piece. My FIL was two blocks away and the car he was in was undamaged, even though it took a pretty big hit from the shock wave.
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Old 05-21-2019, 02:35 PM
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Originally Posted by Lancia View Post
My father-in-law was just shy of two blocks away from ground zero when the blast occurred... I drive by it every day.
Wow, we really do have someone from just about everywhere! Thanks for the local information.

Dennis
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Old 05-21-2019, 03:02 PM
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I think the "8 city blocks" bit is an exaggeration. ...
Yeah, but looking at the photos, I'd have to assume "20' away" also somewhat of an exaggeration.
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Old 05-21-2019, 09:47 PM
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The Commissioner is puzzled. Does this meet the "One killer by any criminal means" test? No criminal charges were filed. Fourteen people were killed.

Your thoughts?
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Old 05-21-2019, 09:51 PM
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Accident, not criminal.
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Old 05-22-2019, 12:40 AM
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Accident, not criminal.
Very much so. A small fire had started (source unknown) at Gerretsen's, in front of which the dynamite-laden truck was parked. Firefighters were either on their way to the fire or had already arrived (I don't remember the exact timing) when the truck blew.
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Old 05-22-2019, 02:44 AM
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Oh, I thought this was gonna be about when Fish and Game got the BRILLIANT idea to get rid of a large dead whale on the beach...


~ VOW
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Old 05-22-2019, 07:40 AM
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Accident, not criminal.
I dunno. I could imagine someone making the argument that the explosives were negligently stored - in a truck, near buildings in the middle of a city. As opposed to - say - a bunker, in the middle of a field/parking lot, or something. Whether that negligence would rise to the level of criminality as opposed to civil liability, I dunno. Not at all my bailiwick.
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Old 05-22-2019, 07:56 AM
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OK, it was an accident. The Commissioner has ruled.
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