Lawndale, CA Gasoline Line Explosion, Dec 1952

BLAST VICTIMS SUFFER SERIOUS, CRITICAL BURNS.

Lawndale, Calif. -- Nine persons, injured Monday in a terrific blast and fire in a gasoline line at Lawndale, were reported in serious or critical condition from third-degree burns today at Harbor General Hospital.
The injured included a mother and her six children, burned as they fled a shower of flaming oil streaming down on their home.
A ditch-digging machine touched off the blast when it ruptured the high-test gasoline line. Roaring fire followed and boiling, flaming gasoline spewed down on a store, destroying it, and set fire or scorched several nearby homes. Power lines were shattered by the blast and dangled around the area, endangering firemen and rescue crews.
EIght county fire departments fought the flames, which were not shut off until a pipeline valve was closed three and a half hours after the explosion.
The scene is in the 4000 block of W. Compton Blvd., in unincorporated area north of Torrance.
The injured included:
MRS. NATIVIDAD ARRENDODO, 42.
Her children,
MARGARET, 2.
ROSE, 6.
THOMAS, 5.
LUZ, 10.
LYDIA HARCIA, 20.
RACHEL GARCIA, 14.
Their home is at 4114 E. Compton Blvd.
Two workmen on the digging machine who were hospitalized are THOMAS ANNASTAS, 31, Redondo Beach and CHARLES EDINGER, 53, Hawthorne.
MR. and MRS. JOSEPH H. JOHNSON, who operated the store, were treated for shock.

Long Beach Press-Telegram California 1952-12-30

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