Some Organizational and Community Activities after an Explosion at the Thompson Chemical Company, Attleboro, Massachusetts

Yutzy, Daniel
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Disaster Research Center
On Sunday evening, January 12, 1964, a major explosion ripped through the Thompson Chemical Plant at Attleboro, Massachusetts. Monday afternoon, the Disaster Research Center decided that the disaster should be used primarily as a field training exercise for a two-man team. However, in addition to the experience aspects, it was felt that perhaps some valuable observations could be made in relation to two possibly unique aspects of this disaster. 1. Early news reports indicated that Rhode Island Police and other emergency units had assisted during the emergency. What, if any, were the jurisdictional problems involved in crossing State and municipal boundaries? units after they arrived at the scene? What, if Under what authority were out-of-state 2. A severe snowstorm with near zero temperatures had inundated the New England area on Monday, January 13. What, if any, were the problems caused by this additional environmental stress? Were rescue and fire fighting operations hampered? By late Monday afternoon when the DRC team was ready to leave Columbus, the inclement weather had grounded nearly all northeast bound flights. However, after a brief delay they were able to fly to Boston via Washington, D. C. The field team arrived at Attleboro on Wednesday morning.
explosion , Thompson Chemical Company , Attleboro, Massachusetts , organizational response