Texas City has suffered many tragedies similar to Wednesday’s accidents at the BP Refinery. One in particular was much worse than the others. In 1947, a freighter in the port loaded with ammonium nitrate caught fire and exploded, killing over 700 people and destroying much of the central city. Pictures of the ruins resemble those of the 1871 Chicago fire. In City on Fire, Minutaglio tells how lax safety concerns and mistakes lead to the accident and about the lawsuits that followed. Libraries with this book should put it on display.
Minutaglio, Bill. City on Fire: the Forgotten Disaster that Devastated a Town and Ignited a Landmark Legal Battle. New York, N.Y. : HarperCollins, c2003. ISBN 0060185414