Disasters: Big Blast In Nevada

Big Blast In Nevada

It began as a small fire in a drying room at the Pacific Engineering & Production Co. of Nevada, a rocket-fuel plant in Henderson. But the blaze spread so swiftly that company fire crews dropped their hoses and sprinted for the exits, followed by most of the 74-man work force. Within minutes, the flames reached containers of highly combustible sodium perchlorate and other chemicals, and four explosions hurled fireballs and toxic black plumes skyward. A concussion measuring 3.5 on the Richter scale flipped over cars and shattered thousands of windows in the Las Vegas area. Although 350 people were treated for...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!