WE NEED ICE - Explosion on the Railroad

WE NEED ICE - Explosion on the Railroad

July 5th, 1973 - A railcar sits on a spur of the Santa Fe Railroad. For about a month, it has served as a "holding tank" for 33,000 gallons of propane gas belonging to the nearby DOXOL Gas Plant.The time has come for DOXOL employees to retrieve the gas from the tanker to be stored at the plant. But, during the process of offloading the gas, something goes TERRIBLY wrong... The disaster KILLS 12, 11 who were firemen and MAIMS approximately 100 innocent citizens of the small town of Kingman, Arizona. This is the UNTOLD, TRUE STORY of the Kingman Arizona BLEVE of '73, with witness and expert accounts describing every flinching detail from the day of, to the weeks and months after the tragedy that forever changed Kingman, and the world.


June 20, 2022 3 min

July 5th, 1973 - A railcar sits on a spur of the Santa Fe Railroad. For about a month, it has served as a "holding tank" for 33,000 gallons of propane gas belonging to the nearby DOXOL Gas Plant.

​The time has come for DOXOL employees to retrieve the gas from the tanker to be stored at the plant. But, during the process of offloading the gas, something goes TERRIBLY wrong...

​The disaster KILLS 12, 11 who were firemen and MAI...

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On July 5th, 1973, the, “We Need Ice” message was broadcast across a dedicated Kingman Arizona radio station. The local hospital requesting ice cubes from residents’ freezers? What on earth for?

It was for the bodies. The dozens of human bodies burned alive from a railcar propane explosion, also known as a BLEVE. If you know anything about burn injuries, you know they are the most devastating to the body and the most excruciating in...

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One Doxol worker is dead from the explosion atop rail car #38214 which occurred on July 5, 1973 in Kingman, Arizona.

Kingman Firefighters, mostly volunteers, race to the scene to extinguish the fire and prevent another propane accident. Time is not on their side as the tank car, full of flammable gas, sits burning in the hundred-degree desert. Town residents and travelers along Route 66 begin to corral around the flaming tanker.

In h...

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A man lies in the street, arms stretched out as he tries to crawl to safety. Pain and fear are conveyed across his badly burned face, totally black, just a thin mohawk of singed hair runs down the center of his crown. His pants have been mostly burned off him and the skin on his exposed limbs can only be described as paper mache’-like, pieces of flesh dangling loosely.

Witness and Kingman resident, “K,” wastes no time jumping into h...

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Amongst the scandals, crime and natural disasters occurring and being packaged in today’s news stories, editorials and talk shows for public review, there’s always the 64-thousand-dollar question: Who is at fault? Someone has to pay, and especially when lives are lost.

Video footage surfaces showing the town of Kingman post BLEVE of 1973 - Doxol branded trucks and gas storage tanks parked on the industrial plant’s property, giant pi...

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Join me on a stroll through Firefighters Memorial Park, a vital part of Kingman’s touristry, where the largest firefighter disaster in Arizona’s history is now commemorated.

In this finale episode, I have my own memorial dedication to conduct, paying respects to the 12 men who gave the ultimate sacrifice and lost their lives to the Kingman Bleve nearly 50 years ago. Gone but not forgotten.

I’d like to request, and if you’re so inclin...

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If necessity is the mother of invention, then mass casualties are the catalyst of reinvention. If anything positive was going to come out of this disaster, it was going to be improving practices for managing such events in order to avoid repeating history.

9-11 has been brought up, more than once, with witness accounts of the Kingman Bleve. After September 11, 2001, changes were employed for safer air travel. Similarly, the 1973 Kin...

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The death toll rises each day for the small town of Kingman, Arizona in the weeks following July 5, 1973.

Witness and hospital volunteer, “K,” remembers how fellow Kingman residents stepped up to care for the children of those families whose head-of-households were either injured or deceased.  She engages in one of the hardest conversations of her life, when the young daughter of a burned firefighter innocently repeats what she’s he...

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You didn’t think the podcast was over did you? Today, you’ll hear from one witness, Kingman resident, and retiree of the Kingman Police Department, Don Martin, who was on duty on July 5th. 

Don refers to July 5th, 1973 as, "A Day He Will Never Forget," and maintains that it was the most horrific event he'd ever experienced despite his past in the military where he witnessed atrocities from deadly truck accidents and homi...

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In Part 2 of retired Kingman Police Officer Don Martin's witness he account,  we make amazing connections between his story and the story I tell in episodes 1-7. It’s more proof that bringing this event to light is worth every, sometimes painstaking, minute.

We also discuss the PTSD many survivors were affected by due to this 1973 tragedy and are still carrying around to this day. Back then, as Don confirms, "No one talked a...

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A young man is riding his dirt bike to a job interview when he catches sight of the drama unfolding along the railroad. His curiosity peaks and he regretfully joins the crowd observing the hissing railcar on fire.

Get to know Screenplay Writer and former Kingman, AZ resident, Theresa Rounseville, whose family was entrenched in the 1973 BLEVE chaos. With her father as the Medical Examiner at the Mohave County Hospital and her brother...

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In this episode, I collaborate with The Volunteer Fire Fighter Podcast hosts  to discuss their responsibilities as active volunteer fireman and how their volunteerism gives them a connection to the ’73 Kingman BLEVE. The guys get into with me about courage, fear, PTSD and some of the most memorable calls they’ve responded to including a potential BLEVE situation. How did they handle that? You’re about to find out in Part 1 of this ...

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