Niagara Falls, NY Chlorine Tank Explosion, Dec 1975


Niagara Falls, N.Y. (UPI) -- Clouds of deadly chlorine gas killed four persons and injured 87 others after a railroad tank car at the Hooker Chemical plant exploded and unleashed the gas over this honeymoon resort city Sunday night.
Authorities said persons three miles from the blast scene were injured by the toxic fumes.
Company officials said the explosion of unknown origin occured in one of three tank cars used for storage of recovered chlorine. Firemen extinguished a brief fire that followed the explosion, but continued to stand by early today to check a small leak in one of the other tank cars, which was ruptured in the initial explosion.
Each tank car contained 30 tons of liquid chlorine, company officials said.
The explosion sent a cloud of chlorine gas over the area, affecting residents and motorists driving through the region. But a company official said the cloud dissipated after about two hours.
A spokesman at Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center identified the victims as CLYDE McBRIDE, 34; RAYMOND ZASO, 60, JAMES D. CALQUBOUN, 29, and LESTER DOCKS, 63, all employes of Hooker.
Niagara County Coroner Oscar A. Bell listed the cause of death as inhalation of chlorine gas. Autopsies were scheduled today.
Fifty-three other persons were also treated at the Medical Center. The spokesman said 40 of the injured were treated and released and 13 were admitted to the hospital.
GEORGE ROCCI, 35, also an employe of the plant,
was listed in critical condition at the hospital this morning. DAVID GUYETTE, 15, of the nearby town of Niagara, was in serious condition in the hospital's intensive care unit this morning, while the other 11 patients were listed in good condition.
Thirty-four other persons were treated at Mount St. Mary's Hospital in nearby Lewiston. Ten of those persons were admitted to the hospital.
A hospital spokesman said most of those injured were either employes of the plant or were in the immediate area of the chemical plant at the time of the explosion.
He said most complained of feeling ill after inhaling the toxic chlorine fumes.

The Daily Messenger Canandaigua New York 1975-12-15



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