In the spring of 1947, the entire country was focused on Houston's neighbor Texas City, the petrochemical boomtown where two oceangoing freight ships carrying more than 3,000 tons of ammonium nitrate exploded. Theories about the cause of the accident, which killed almost 700 people and injured 5,000 more, ranged from a communist plot to terrorism to the arrival of Judgment Day. FBI director J. Edgar Hoover even sent agents down to investigate. More than 50 years later, journalist Bill Minutaglio has re-examined the case, sifting through never-before-seen government documents to recount the tragic story in City on Fire: The Forgotten Disaster that Devastated a Town and Ignited a Landmark Legal Battle.
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