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Texas City Disaster

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by

Karen Vega

on 24 May 2013

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Transcript of Texas City Disaster

This disaster toke place in April 16, 1947.This explosion occurred at 9:12 Am in the docks in the Port of Texas City. French Liberty ship Grandcamp's explosion was the deadliest industrial accident in U.S. history, and one of the largest non-nuclear explosions. Who/What were the parties involved? The parties involved in this explosion was France party because it was a French-registered vessel SS Grandcamp and the US party because it happened in the prt of Texas City. Texas City Disaster By Karen Vega Explosion of a french ship carrying ammonium When and Where did the disaster take place ? What caused/were the events leading up to it, and what was the death toll? What chemicals were involved/contributed to the disaster? If a chemical reaction took place, provide explanation and balanced reaction. Describe any safety measures and government regulation in place when dealing with these chemicals. Were the companies meeting these measures/regulations? (who was at fault and why?) What were the short-term and long-term health effects? include treatment used to counteract the effects What were the short-term and long-term environmental effects? If it was an assassination, then list how they determined it was a poisoning. What emergency management plan was in place to address the disaster? If you are dealing with an assassination then list ways to detect poising early or how to develop a plan to detect potential poisoning events Compare and contrast precautionary measures in place before and after the disaster. Did the disaster lead to changes in industrial practices, medical detention of poisoning, military service, regulatory practice? Bibliography Th death toll in 5000 were injured and 1784 were sent to local hospitals. Of the 581 dead, 113 were obliterated to the point that there were no remains. The causes that lead up to this explosion was not really clear investigator think that maybe one of the workers dropped a still lite cigarette and the ship some how caught fire. The chemicals used to contribute to the disaster in Texas City were ammonium nitrate detonate which is ammonium nitrate fertilizer. This is mainly chemical that contributed with the explosion and with help from a cigarette it started the chain explosions. A chemical reaction did take place obviously because the French-registered vessel SS Grandcamp blew up but it was only a reaction between the ammonium nitrate and the lite cigarette that contributed to the explosion. There where no more than one chemical in this explosion. Prier to the explosion in Texas City there weren't many safety measure and government regulation in place with the dealing of ammonium nitrate . The standard procedure for dealing with a dangerously burning ship was to tow it by tug as far from the harbor as possible. But that didn't happen and as a result the ship exploded on harbor an killed around 600 people. The explosion in Texas was the deadliest industrial accident in U.S. history, and one of the largest non-nuclear explosions. With this it is clear that both the united states and the french ship were at fault for not being as precautions with the chemicals they were handling and also for not sending inspectors to assure that the ships were loaded with safety. The explosions devastated the town of Texas City. Ammonium nitrate is not an extremely hazardous chemical and is usually used in fertilizer products. Under normal handling conditions, ammonium nitrate is not harmful. However, inhalation of high concentrations of ammonium nitrate dust can cause respiratory tract irritation.
Short-term exposure to ammonium nitrate can cause symptoms ranging from minor irritation to nausea, vomiting, gastric irritation, headaches, dizziness and hypertension.
Long term effects on health the primary overdose effects of chronic exposure are orthostatic hypotension and methemoglobinemia. Other common effects include: faintness, fatigue, weakness, depression, mental impairment, dizziness, shortness of breath, and reflex tachycardia; headache, nausea, vomiting, and nephritis may also occur
In disasters such as the explosion in Texas City ammonium nitrate decomposes into the gases nitrous oxide and water vapor when heated (non-explosive reaction); however, ammonium nitrate can be induced to decompose explosively by detonation. Large stockpiles of the material can be a major fire risk due to their supporting oxidation, and may also detonate, as happened in the Texas City disaster of 1947, which led to major changes in the regulations for storage and handling. Treatments to counteract the effects is by going to the doctor and getting a check up to see if they have had health effects because of ammonium nitrate. The tidal wave produced by the explosion sent this 150-foot, 30-ton barge 100 feet inland. The surge of water also killed a number of people who survived the initial blast, drowning them as they lay trapped in rubble or unconscious. After the explosion the fires would continue to burn for a full week. The city was devastated and anything close to the harbor we dead. It was stated that the water around the ship started to boil and water vapor was around the ship with this we can conclude that the marine life by the ship was no longer save to eat or was it save to live in that water. Long term effects though not specific to ammonium nitrate, some studies have shown a link between birth defects (particularly neural tube defects) and nitrate-contaminated well water. witch can come from contaminated water from around the ship. What happened in the Texas City disaster of 1947, which led to major changes in the regulations for storage and handling. After the disaster of the explosion in Texas which was the deadliest industrial accident in U.S. history, and one of the largest non-nuclear explosions there were a lot of precaution measure put in place then before the explosion. This disaster did indeed lead to changes in industrial practices regulation practices and storage changes got put into place. Numerous safety guidelines are available for storing and handling ammonium nitrate. It should not be stored near combustible substances or certain fertilizers, especially urea. Therefore, it is important to store ammonium nitrate in a tightly sealed container. Otherwise it can coalesce into a large, solid mass. Ammonium nitrate can absorb enough moisture to liquefy. With these new precautionary measure hopes of another explosure is not in the soon future. With the explosion in Texas city people were evacuated after the first explosion. so when other ships exploded on 2 people died. This disaster was not an assassination it was an explosion caused by a lite cigarette that was left. The emergency management plan was not in place because obviously a lot of people died and that could have been prevented. History, T. d. (2011, april 16). History . Retrieved 5 28, 2013, from Fertilizer explosion kills 581 in Texas: http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/fertilizer-explosion-kills-581-in-texas

Pandanell, M. (2004, April 29). Disasters. Retrieved 5 28, 2013, from The Texas City Disaster: http://www.local1259iaff.org/disaster.html

Texas State Historical Association . (1987, 7 24). Retrieved 5 28, 2013, from Texas City Disaster: http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/lyt01

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