Remembering deadly Pepcon explosion that rocked Las Vegas valley 32 years ago

Local News

LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — The deadly Pepcon explosion shook the Las Vegas valley 32 years ago on May 4. Anyone who lived in the valley in 1988 felt it and remembers that frightening day.

Two people died and more than 300 others were hurt after a series of powerful explosions tore through Pacific Engineering and Production Company of Nevada. The chemical plant produced a chemical used in rocket fuel.

8 News Now recently spoke to Carla Alston who is the director of the office of public information at Metro. At the time of the explosions, she was a reporter at channel 8.

“There were garage doors blown off their hinges lying in people’s driveways. Their front doors were on the ground. Glass was shattered — windows from cars and from homes. It was the weirdest thing to see and there weren’t any people around because most people were at work during that time,” Alston said.

Investigators determined sparks from a welder’s torch ignited nearby chemicals starting the deadly chain of events.

The blast happened around 12 noon during the opening round of the Panasonic Las Vegas golf tournament at 3 different courses in the valley. After feeling the initial blast, the mushroom cloud could be seen climbing over the valley and play was halted immediately. PGA pros marked their balls and resumed play the next day.

8 News Now will have more coverage on the Pepcon explosion in later newscasts.

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