New York City, NY Hotel Explosion, Aug 1932

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New York City NY Ritz Tower.jpg

FOUR KILLED BY EXPLOSION AT BIG N.Y. HOTEL.

TERRIFIC BLAST OCCURS DURING FIRE IN BASEMENT PAINT SHOP OF THE RITZ TOWER.

New York, Aug. 1 -- A terrific explosion rocked the Ritz Towers, skyscraper Park Avenue hotel, and at least four men were killed and a score injured. The explosion occurred during a fire in the basement paint shop of the tall apartment hotel at 57th street and Park avenue. Members of two fire companies were in the basement at the time, as well as a number of hotel employes who were assisting the firemen. Debris was thrown 50 feet in the air from a basement entrance to the paint shop and dozens of windows blown in.
Rescue squads and ambulances hurried to the scene and fire lines were thrown around the area as the blackened bodies of the dead and injured were brought to the street. Rescue work was hindered by dense smoke pouring from the basement windows and the shattered paint shop entrance. An emergency hospital was established in the street and pedestrians joined police and firemen in carrying the injured to the cleared space where ambulance surgeons were at work. Five ambulances were quickly on the scene and began taking away the injured as soon as they received first aid treatment. An inspector and 150 patrolmen were rushed to the fire to handle the crowd which gathered and to prevent possible looting.
Besides breaking windows in the hotel the explosion brought down several ceilings and demolished the front of a jewelry store on the 57th street side of the hotel. Silver and jewels on display in the show windows were scattered in the street and two clerks, bleeding from cuts, ran about gathering what they could find.

Portsmouth Herald New Hampshire 1932-08-01