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Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Runaway Bay Christmas Fire-50 years ag0

Early Christmas Day,about 50 years ago there was a great tanker fire that devastated the Runaway Bay Area in St. Anns. This inferno engulfed the site left 23 people dead, many of them children, and another 70 fighting for their lives in hospital.
The cause it was due to a tanker that was on its way to Donald Sangster airport when it overturned and crashed. Many of the residents in the immediate and surrounding areas, carried buckets, pans and anything they could to get some of the precious cargo. The driver urged people to get away from the overturned vehicle as he saw the danger. However very few listened.

Their was a man in the crowd who lit a cigarette and in that one brief moment the fire lept out and literally devoured so many people. Worshippers coming out of the Christmas morning service at the Congregationalist Church (now the United Church) about half-a-mile away were wishing each other 'Merry Christmas' when they heard the deafening explosion, followed by the roar of the fire and the anguished screams of the victims.

Last Friday, there were more than 65 people who attended a commendatory ceremony, including member of parliament for North West St Ann, Othneil Lawrence, and Winston Lawrence, councillor for the area

More information on this tragic event see the following: Runaway Bay Fire

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