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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
South Amboy in Middlesex County, New Jersey — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
 

1950 South Amboy Explosion

 
 
1950 South Amboy Explosion Marker image. Click for full size.
By Don Morfe, April 6, 2016
1. 1950 South Amboy Explosion Marker
Inscription. An explosion of tremendous violence occurred at approximately 7:26 pm on Friday, May 19, 1950, at the Pennsylvania Railroad Pier No. 4 (Powder Pier) at the foot of Augusta Street, South Amboy (across inlet). This event was the result of the simultaneous detonation of 450 tons of military munitions. Two shipments, one of land mines and one of dynamite, were being transferred from railroad cars onto barges for subsequent loading onto the steamship Flying Clipper.

At 7:50 pm South Amboy Mayor John D. Leonard declared a state of emergency and requested help from Governor Alfred E. Driscoll. The state police and military assistance were quickly provided. Fire departments, first aid squads, and Red Cross disaster units, from as far away as Pennsylvania, poured into the stricken city. First aid field units were set up in the streets to provide emergency treatment while nearby hospitals accommodated the more seriously injured. Nearly every one of the 2,700 homes and buildings in South Amboy suffered some damage. Broken glass was extensive. Complete failure of electric power darkened the city. The death toll mounted to 31 with only five bodies identified and more than 350 persons injured. The citizens of South Amboy handled the ordeal remarkably well. Government specialists rushed to the area to access community impact and were greatly

1950 South Amboy Explosion Marker image. Click for full size.
By Don Morfe, April 6, 2016
2. 1950 South Amboy Explosion Marker
impressed by the city’s response. The actual cause of the detonation is unknown to this day.

This Historic Marker is a gift to the people of South Amboy from the Middlesex County Board of Chosen Freeholders, 2013.
 
Location. 40° 29.077′ N, 74° 16.321′ W. Marker is in South Amboy, New Jersey, in Middlesex County. Marker is on Raritan Reach Road. Touch for map. The marker is behind the houses on the road and located at water's edge on the small boardwalk. Marker is in this post office area: South Amboy NJ 08879, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 2 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. First Air Mail Delivery Flight in New Jersey (approx. 0.4 miles away); Old St. Mary’s High School (approx. 0.6 miles away); The Water Highway (approx. one mile away); The Bluff: Witness to History (approx. one mile away); Ambo Point (approx. one mile away); Raritan Bay & New York Harbor (approx. 1.1 miles away); All Shapes, Sizes and Materials (approx. 1.1 miles away); Elizabeth Lawrence (approx. 1.1 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in South Amboy.
 
Categories. Disasters

 
1950 South Amboy Explosion Marker image. Click for full size.
By Don Morfe, April 6, 2016
3. 1950 South Amboy Explosion Marker
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on April 15, 2016, by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Md 21234. This page has been viewed 181 times since then and 62 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on April 15, 2016, by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Md 21234. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.
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