DuPont Company Wharf
(Museum Photo Collection)
(click to enlarge image)
The MV LaBlanca (launch)
Entry published by DuPont Powder Works, August 8, 1928
(DuPont Company newsletter)
"Launch La Blanca, with a cargo consisting of 15,000 pounds of dynamite and 5,400 pounds of black blasting and sporting powder, left the DuPont wharf at 6:00 PM. One hour later she exploded with a roar that was heard for miles. She was making her way through the Narrows and was on the west side of the Narrows opposite the west end of Sixth Avenue. Captain Nels Christensen and son Nels Jr. were the only persons aboard. The Captain was forward and noticed smoke arising from the kitchen which was aft. Christensen pointed the boat’s bow toward the shore and when she reached the beach, he and his son jumped overboard and swam to shore. After warning away occupants of fishing boats who were coming to his assistance, Christensen and son ran up a gully and found shelter around a point of the hill. Just at this time the explosion took place, completely wrecking the boat and stripping the brush from the hillside. The woods on the shore were set on fire and two farmhouses were burned the second day after the accident before the fire was brought under control."
For more information about the LaBlanca accident, read "Raging Inferno: The La Blanca Explodes Crossing Tacoma Narrows in 1928" by Jennifer Crooks (published on SouthSoundTalk.com).