Portland Propane Blast Causes Heavy Damage

Issue 2 and Volume 108.

Portland Propane Blast Causes Heavy Damage Propane gas, leaking from a tank-car early on the morning of Oct. 18, last, spread like a “bluish fog” over railroad yards at Willbridge, Portland, Oregon, and exploded with the force of an aerial bomb when it became ignited by a switch-marker light. According to Assistant Chief Edward Boatright, had the city’s fire fighters been “on the spot” at the time of the explosion, many lives might have been lost. As it was, no one was seriously injured. Eight switchmen and trainmen were in the yard station office conferring on the possibilities of an explosion, when it occurred. They escaped serious injury. Twenty-one box cars were overturned and wrecked in the explosion which cut a swath 300 feet long down the railroad tracks, on the west bank of the Willamette River. For three miles, Portlanders were startled out of their beds, and windows were…

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