Firemen Take No Chances
With the memory of the Texas City disaster fresh in their minds, officials of the New York Fire Department took no chances with the 3,500-ton cargo of ammonium nitrate in the holds of the freighter Golden West when that ship tied up at Pier 17, Staten Island, late in May.
To minimize the possibility of explosion, firemen established a 24-hour guard, with hose lines stretched from shore, ready for instant action.
Coast Guard officials also were on hand to lend their weight to protective measures.
The Golden West, a Maritime Commission ship chartered by the United States Lines, loaded the cargo of ammonium nitrate at Baltimore. The chemical was stowed in two holds, and the ship berthed at Staten Island to load additional miscellaneous cargo, for shipment to France.
Officers of the New York Fire Department left no measures untaken to safeguard the ship and the waterfront area exposed to possible explosion. Safety measures laid down by the department, through Third Deputy Fire Commissioner Nathan C. Horowitz, were all put into effect, and firefighters. Coast Guardsmen dock workers and those of the public who were ‘in the know’ breathed a sigh of relief when the Golden West pulled out for Brest.