Feb. 10th, 1973; Staten Island liquefied natural gas explosion in kills 40 workers
Feb. 10, 1973, a chilly Saturday afternoon, a flash fire erupted in the cavernous interior of a smaller LNG tank in Bloomfield. Natural gas trapped inside fueled the fire and created a force that ripped the concrete dome from its anchors and sent it crashing onto workers more than 100 feet below. Forty men were killed. The incident stands as the borough’s worst industrial accident ever.
The 600,000-barrel tank in Bloomfield was being repaired when a fire broke out. Natural gas trapped inside the tank fueled the fire and led to the explosion.
Eyewitnesses told the Advance in 1973 that there was hissing sound and a loud noise — followed by a ring of flame outside the 108-foot-high tank, located near the waterfront about a mile south of the Goethals Bridge.
It was part of the huge tract of land purchased by NASCAR in 2004. The site is not accessible to the public. The tank site was formally demolished in 1993
Outside of the lives of the 40 workers killed, the blast has a lasting legacy on Staten Island: It ultimately brought to a halt the construction of two larger LNG tanks in the Rossville section of Staten Island.
The tanks still stand off Arthur Kills road. They have been decommissioned and have been deteriorating for decades.