Explosions happen in the United States on a seemingly daily basis. Headlines dominate the news far too frequently.
Set a Google alert for “explosion,” and soon your inbox will be inundated with updates.
Here is a look at news from two recent explosions, as well as a look back at an explosion from nearly 100 years ago – an illustration of how long this country has dealt with explosions and their aftermaths:
Santa Fe explosion: Numerous workers injured
From The Daily News, Galveston County, Texas: A natural gas line exploded at about 6 p.m. Thursday in Santa Fe, Texas, causing multiple injuries to a crew of workers in the area, police said. Santa Fe is a city with a population of about 12,000 located 40 miles southeast of Houston.
The fire from the Santa Fe explosion was still burning at 7:30 p.m., said Greg Boody, a public information officer for the local police department.
A preliminary call to the police department reported that as many as five others were carried off in one ambulance, but Boody couldn’t confirm an exact number or whether the injured were working on the gas line or another project.
“Dispatch notified us after receiving several 911 calls from people in the area,” Boody said.
Santa Fe explosion:
Residential area rocked
The damaged gas line is in the middle of a densely populated residential area in about the 5300 block of Avenue M, Boody said.
Santa Fe Police and CenterPoint Energy workers were at the scene by 7 p.m., trying to gain control of the gas line.
Firefighters for the Santa Fe Volunteer Fire Department were the first to respond to a report of flames coming from the ground. Firefighters immediately put out a call for medical transport, initially reporting one burn victim.
“When the ambulance arrived, they found several more injured,” Boody said.
Santa Fe explosion:
Injured not identified
At least some of the injured are believed to have sustained second- and third-degree burns, Boody said.
At 7:20 p.m., medical branch officials confirmed that they were awaiting the arrival of two burn victims from the fire.
The names of those injured and the name of the company they worked for had not been released.
CenterPoint workers were monitoring power lines at the scene, Boody said.
Roswell explosion: Two victims identified
From the Associated Press: Authorities have identified two firefighters critically injured in a fireworks explosion in Roswell, New Mexico, that remains under investigation.
The explosion Wednesday injured a dozen firefighters at a fireworks storage area. A city spokesman said Jeff Stroble, 46, and Robert Bonham, 36, were hospitalized (Bonham is better known by his nickname, “Hoby”). Others firefighters were treated at the scene.
Authorities do not know what prompted the fireworks to explode as firefighters were moving them for an upcoming Fourth of July show.
Spokesman Todd Wildermuth said in a statement that Stroble has been with the Roswell Fire Department for 17 years, and Bonham has worked for the department for 18 years.
They are being treated at a hospital in Lubbock, Texas, about 173 miles east of Roswell.
New Mexico State Police are investigating the explosion.
1926 WV explosion: A look back
From West Virginia Public Broadcasting: On June 7, 1926, a crew mining for sand in Morgan County, West Virginia, was preparing an explosion when a spark set off what the Berkeley Glass Sand Company maintained was dynamite. Others, though, claimed it was more dangerous black powder. Six men were killed.
Their deaths inspired John Unger, a local blind singer, to write the ballad “The Miner’s Doom,” which was recorded in 1927 by early country music star Vernon Dalhart.
Sand mining first became a major industry in Morgan County after the Civil War due to the quality of the region’s silica sand, which was used to manufacture glass. In 1893, Henry Harrison Hunter of Berkeley Springs won a blue ribbon at the World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago for the quality of his sand.
The industry’s modern era began in 1929, when the Pennsylvania Glass Sand Corporation built the largest and most advanced silica facility of its time.
Today, the Berkeley Springs plant is the core of the U.S. Silica Corporation, which has 21 locations across the country and employs about 200 at the Berkeley Springs mine, processing plant, and laboratory.
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