Indianapolis, IN Fairgrounds Coliseum Explosion, Oct 1963
MRS. WILSON (PAULINE) O'NEAL, 1039 S. Courtland Ave., said she thought at first that the flash was part of the act. "I never thought we would get out alive. I saw two men carrying children, begging for someone to help them, but everyone just stared. They were too shocked to do anything."
MRS. MARGARET BECK, 1303 S. Washington St., commented: "You don't know what a disaster is like until you go through one. Everybody stood up and looked, then started moving."
MRS. VIVIENNE BARKLEY, 511 N. Courtland Ave., said, "The bodies looked like rag dolls as they were hurled through the air."
MRS. MYRTLE ERICSSON, 718 W. Mulberry St., said, "When I saw the bodies flying through the air, I grabbed my purse and started out. I fell over a fire hose and cut my lip and was bruised on the front of my body. I've never seen so many bloody people."
MRS. ROBERT STOECKINGER of Bennetts Switch was seated in the section next to the one which was blow up along with her two children, MAY PAT, 13, and BILLY, 11. "I was knocked on my back and it seemed I'd been there for hours. The little girl who helped pick me up had a gash in her head, but I didn't notice it until later."
"When we tried to go out an exit near the band, there was a body lying there" a man with a hole in his head."
MRS. STOECKINGER, said she took DANNY WHITLEY, 12-year-old son of MR. And MRS. ED WHITLEY, in two when he couldn't locate his parents.
'It was so near the end," MRS. STOECKINGER said, "we thought the noise was part of the finale. Then we saw debris flying an fire flashing, and someone yelled 'explosion'. That awful dust and smoke."
CHARLES LESTER, 113 E. Ricketts St., commented: "I actually saw the wall part before I heard the explosion. Flames followed immediately. We moved out very quickly for fear the whole place would blow up."
MRS. EARSLEY ANDREWS, 1794 S. Indiana Ave., said, 'There was this terrific explosion. I felt as if it were in my body. Plaster and debris and dust started falling, and I though the building was collasping[sic]. I put my hands over my head. Then I saw this flame shooting up."
LEE DIXON, 1300 Kingston Rd., said he was sitting on the north side of the Coliseum, directly across from the explosion. "A mass of flame shot up over the opening, obviously gas, for it seemed under pressure, like a huge blowtourch[sic] - about 30 feet high."
MRS. MANFORD JAMES of Kokomo R. R. 1 said, "It was horrible, the worst thing I've ever seen. It was a dull thud and then I saw pieces of cement, people, arms and legs flying through the air. You could see some of the bodies falling into the flames that were reaching to the ceiling."
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