Indianapolis, IN Fairgrounds Coliseum Explosion, Oct 1963
MRS. GROVES, who was attending the Halloween night performance with her daughter-in-law MRS. JOSEPH (KAY) MEYERS, 1231 W. Walnut St., sustained lumps and bruises. MRS. MEYERS suffered cuts on the head and shoulder and leg injuries.
"There was that terrific sound and I thought the walls were coming in on us - the whole building collapsing," MRS. GROVES stated.
WALTER SPANGLER, 1017 W. Broadway, said, "About 90 percent of the crowd, like myself, were Shriners and their families."
"We were sitting almost directly opposite the explosion and the show was virtually over," SPANGLER continued.
"Suddenly there was a dull thump. It wasn't an explosion as you usually think of one. There was no percussion."
"Immediately there was a tremendous column of fire - about 15 feet in diameter, and 40 to 50 feet high. Along with it was literally a column of bodies. I saw dozens of people flying through the air. Their arms and legs outspread."
"Then there was just screaming," SPANGLER stated.
"I ran across the rink to see if I could help. I saw a woman lying on top of another woman. One woman's head had been flattened by a large piece of concrete."
"People were roasting in the flames, but we couldn't get to them," SPANGLER commented. He said, It must have been gas, something had to keep feeding that fire."
OMER RIDNOUR, 1535 S. Washington, St., said he was opposite the blast. "One section just blew up. Chairs and people flew out over the ice. There wasn't so much noise, just a great big puff."
MISS MARILYN BARNGROVER, 416 S. Western Ave., said, "I only remember one explosion. We could see bodies and parts of bodies flying up in the air along with the wood or concrete from the seats. Shriners near us helped keep the people calm, and we moved out very quickly."
MRS. FLORENCE WRIGHTSMAN, 318 S. Main St., remarked: "I was wedged between some seats and a woman fell on top of me as we were leaving. I thought to myself, 'This is it,'"
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