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Leonardo, NJ Nike Missile Explosion, May 1958
Note: If you look to the rear, you will see a small tree line. That is the Navy Road approximately a mile from the pier facilities. At the time, I was living on the Dorbrook farm in Colts Neck.
NIKE BASE DISASTER PROBED.
10 KILLED IN VIOLENT EXPLOSION.
Middletown, N.J. (AP) -- Investigators searched a Nike base near here today in an effort to learn what caused eight fully armed missiles to blow up in a furious mushroom of fire and death.
explosion yesterday killed 10 persons and scattered explosive warheads
across a wide area of the countryside.
servicemen in a 20-foot-deep pit under a missile's launching pad miraculously
survived the holocaust.
The missiles, known as the Ajax type, exploded at about 1:20 p.m. while a team of experts was working on them. They were to be replaced next year by Hercules missiles capable of carrying atomic warheads.
of the Ajax missiles carried three conventional warheads of explosives
Patrolman Daniel Murdoch, one of the first at the scene, told of "the horror of seeing men, their bodies still afire, and the head of at least one of the men blown away by the force of the explosion."
Army flew in three inspectors from the office of the chief of ordnance
in Washington to investigate the explosion. What set it off may never
were shattered and doors blown in a mile or more from the explosion scene.
One woman was blown out of a chair in the living room of her home.
Chester Times Pennsylvania 1958-05-23
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