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The Roseburg, OR blast...

Item # 574540

August 8, 1959

THE SPRINGFIELD UNION, Springfield, Massachusetts, August 8, 1959

* Roseburg OR Oregon
* Dynamite truck explosion

This 30 page newspaper has two column headlines on the front page: "Oregon Blast Kills 10, Destroys Six Blocks" and more with photo (see photos). This tells of the dynamite truck explosion in Roseburg, Oregon that caused massive destruction.

Other news, sports and advertisements of the day throughout. Good condition.

wikipedia notes: On 7 August 1959, at approximately 1:00 a.m., the Gerretsen Building Supply Company caught fire. Firefighters soon arrived at the building, located near Oak and Pine street, to extinguish the fire. Earlier in the evening, a truck driver for the Pacific Powder Company, George Rutherford, had parked his explosives truck in front of the building, a fact which went unnoticed until shortly before the truck exploded at around 5:00 a.m., destroying buildings in an eight-block radius and severely damaging 30 more blocks.

The truck was loaded with two tons of dynamite and four-and-a-half tons of the blasting agent nitro carbo nitrate. Rutherford had parked the truck after arranging his delivery for the following morning, despite warnings given to the Pacific Powder Company two days earlier not to leave such trucks unattended or park them in "congested areas." Fourteen people died in the blast and fire and 125 were injured. Damage was estimated at ten to twelve million dollars; the Powder company was eventually made to pay $1.2 million in civil damages, but was acquitted of criminal wrongdoing.

Roseburg's downtown was rebuilt, primarily by businesses using money collected from insurance claims. The city built a new bridge over the South Umpqua River on parcels affected by the disaster. Since the incident, it is commonly referred to as the "Roseburg Blast" or simply "The Blast." In 2005, SOPTV produced a documentary examining the Blast and the experiences of those who were involved or witnessed it, entitled The Roseburg Blast: A Catastrophe and Its Heroes.

Category: The 20th Century

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