The Texas City Disaster
was a major 20th-century industrial accident
in Texas City, Texas
). The tragedy took place on April 16, 1947 and started with a mid-morning fire on board the French
-registered vessel SS Grandcamp
in the Port of Texas City
. The fire detonated approximately 2,300 tons of ammonium nitrate
and the resulting chain reaction of fires and explosions killed at least 581 people.
also triggered the first ever class action lawsuit
against the United States government
, under the then-recently enacted Federal Tort Claims Act
(FTCA), on behalf of 8,485 victims.