Los Angeles in Los Angeles County, California — The American West (Pacific Coastal)
Honoring The Lives
Sylmar Tunnel Disaster
On June 24, 1971, an explosion and fire took the lives of seventeen construction workers building a tunnel in Sylmar, California. The tunnel was being built for the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California by the Lockheed Shipbuilding and Construction Company. The 5.5 mile, 18-foot diameter tunnel was intended to carry water from the State Water Project into Southern California. To this day, it remains one of the worst tunnel disasters in California and it led to passage of the toughest mining and tunnel regulations in the country.
The memorial is dedicated to the men who lost their lives that day, Metropolitan employee Louis Richardson, Sr. and the sixteen Lockheed employees, the sole survivor Ralph Brissette and the emergency responders who risked their own lives.
Erected 2013 by Metropolitan Water District of Southern California.
Location. 34° 3.322′ N, 118° Touch for map. In the courtyard between the Metropolitan Water District building and Union Station. Marker is at or near this postal address: 700 Alameda Street, Los Angeles CA 90012, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. In Memory of Our Ancestors (within shouting distance of this marker); Los Angeles Union Passenger Terminal (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); Latino Blood, American Hearts (about 600 feet away); In Honor (about 600 feet away); The Indians of Southern California (about 600 feet away); Damien Marchessault (about 700 feet away); Biscailuz Building (about 700 feet away); Headquarters of Commander Robert Field Stockton (about 700 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Los Angeles.
Regarding Honoring The Lives. After the Feb 9, 1971 Sylmar earthquake, the amount of methane gas seeping into the tunnel increased, but the ventilation system was not upgraded to handle it. The contractor ignored warnings by the safety inspector.
Read more: The Silmar Tunnel Disaster. A book by Janette Zavattero.
The sealed portal of the abandoned tunnel, and stacked concrete water pipe sections, can be seen
Also see . . . Newspaper article. (Submitted on January 28, 2018, by Craig Baker of Sylmar, California.)
Categories. • Disasters • Industry & Commerce • Man-Made Features •
Credits. This page was last revised on September 9, 2018. This page originally submitted on October 30, 2017, by Craig Baker of Sylmar, California. This page has been viewed 2,582 times since then and 2,522 times this year. Last updated on September 7, 2018, by Craig Baker of Sylmar, California. Photos: 1. submitted on October 30, 2017, by Craig Baker of Sylmar, California. 2. submitted on November 3, 2017, by Craig Baker of Sylmar, California. 3. submitted on October 30, 2017, by Craig Baker of Sylmar, California. 4, 5, 6. submitted on January 28, 2018, by Craig Baker of Sylmar, California. • Syd Whittle was the editor who published this page.