June 28, 1943

Munitions Train Explodes
GRAND JUNCTION, Colo.—Fire aboard a freight train here early yesterday morning caused exploding munitions to shower the western end of the town. Terrified townsfolk were further alarmed when officials mistakenly sounded the air raid siren instead of the fire siren. Seven people were injured in the explosions that lasted between three and four hours. The most serious injury was suffered by Fire Chief Charles Downing. He was injured when a shell landed approximately thirty-five feet from him and exploded. Downing required two blood transfusion and his arm was amputated. The explosions began to subside around 5 a.m. local time, but continued intermittently. Army ordinance officers were on their way to Grand Junction to investigate the cause of the explosion.

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