Texas City Explosion 1947

On April 16, 1947, the Grandcamp, a ship which had previously been docked in Houston, was now docked in Texas City where it was being loaded with ammonium nitrate fertilizer. A fire broke out in the ship's cargo hold and continued to grow despite efforts to extinguish the flames. Then, catastrophe. At 9:12 am, the ship exploded.

The massive explosion leveled buildings nearby and even shattered windows in Houston, some forty miles away. 

In Denver, Colorado, over 900 miles away, a seismograph registered the explosion as if it were an earthquake. 

A second ship, the High Flyer, caught fire, and fifteen hours after the first devastating blast, there was another.

In addition to over three thousand injured, it is estimated that between 500 and 600 people perished in the blasts.