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Explosion on the "Esso Paterson" - 1956
Text below with article :

Vol. 4, No. 14
Commissary Bldg. Phone 2752 Baytown, Texas
Published Every Week by Humble Oil & Refining Company for Employees at Baytown Plants , April 6, 1956
Excitement Over, But There's Still A Lot Of Talking
The real excitement is over, but there is still a lot of talking about the tanker explosion at No.2 Docks Thursday night of last week.
A  U.S. Coast Guard Board of Inquiry is talking to anybody who might give it a clue as to the cause of the blast; Humble
management is talking about how thankful we are that the injury list was so light, and Baytown in general is saying,
"Boy, what a noise that was!"
And, of course, each of the nearly 6,000 Refinery employees talked about the disaster, especially those who were right there
at the time it happened. Two such men were Claude C. Blansett and John Combs.
Blansett, a Dock employee who was working nearby and a WW II veteran who dodged bombs at Pearl Harbor, had this to say:
"That tanker explosion last Thursday night reminded me of the time when the first bomb hit Pearl Harbor."
Combs, WW II flyer who dropped a lot of bombs on the enemy, was standing on the starboard side of No.8 wing tank when the
port side blew out. "I always had an airplane to get out of the way of a blast before, but this time I sprouted my own wings. Man,
I flew down that gangplank!" he said. Combs also recalled that he had a mid-air collision in 1952. "I came out of that all right,
but this experience Thursday scared me a lot more."
The Esso Paterson had just started loading kerosene when the
(See TANKER, Page 5)
[Photo  1]
The fire at its height, taken soon after the kerosene flashed on the water lighting up the stricken tanker just before Humble
crews started spraying foamite to put it out.
[Photo  2]
Force of the explosion hurled steel beam from ship and embedded it in rip-rap along shoreline about 200 feet away.
Note portion of compartment rolled back over deck of the Esso Paterson.
[[Photo  3]]
Esso Shipping employee C. H. Goodwin, left, listens intently to three Humble employees discuss their part in rescue
operations. Joe Fountain, pointing, stood by in mooring boat to rescue anyone in the water should they need it; J. A. Taylor
shut off the loading pumps on the dock; C. C. Blansett, right, took all loading hose off ship with help of another
Humble Refinery employee, Bruce Causey.

Page : 5
Text below with article :

Baytown Briefs April 6, 1956 Page 5
[Photo 1, Left]
Dragline on barge pulled a heavy section of bulkhead out of water last Monday. Dragline operations have since
been completed.
TANKER - - - - Continued From Page 1
mid-ship explosion occurred at 7 :32 p.m. The tanker has been moved from No.2 Docks to No.5 Docks where the crew at
BRIEFS press time was awaiting word of the next move from the owners. Dredging operations to salvage debris
from the ship was completed last Monday.
Pictures on Page 1 are published for the first time. They show some of the scenes of this regrettable explosion and some
of the people who were close by when it happened and were among the first to lend a helping hand.
Thanks, Everybody
On behalf of Baytown Management and the Humble Company, I want to express sincere thanks to all of our employees who assisted in combating the fire that followed the explosion aboard the Esso Paterson.
Employees on duty whose services were needed in the immediate area, responded wholeheartedly and co-operated in every way to put out the flames. Other employees on duty, as well as men who were off duty reported in and stood by to assist in any way as long as the emergency existed.
All of us are indeed thankful that there were no more than two injuries and that the damage was no worse. We are also grateful to local agencies, police officers, deputy sheriffs, hospitals, doctors, and nurses and all others in our community who stood by to help.
[signature of G. L. Farned]
Plants Manager

Additional photographs ;
"Esso Jamestown" in front, the blaze is from the "Esso Paterson".
Kerosine is burning on and besides the "Esso Paterson".
Fire has been extinguished.
The damage is clearly visible, on the following photos.
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