Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Tragedy At The Circus...!

Often we have a tendency to forget some of the most tragic events of the past! This has to have been one of the saddest of them all!

What should have been a time of fun and wonderment quickly turned to one of horror and death! Just makes us realize how fast our lives can change!

Jul 6, 1944:

The Hartford Circus Fire

In Hartford, Connecticut, a fire breaks out under the big top of the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus, killing 167 people and injuring 682. Two-thirds of those who perished were children. The cause of the fire was unknown, but it spread at incredible speed, racing up the canvas of the circus tent. Scarcely before the 8,000 spectators inside the big top could react, patches of burning canvas began falling on them from above, and a stampede for the exits began. Many were trapped under fallen canvas, but most were able to rip through it and escape. However, after the tent's ropes burned and its poles gave way, the whole burning big top came crashing down, consuming those who remained inside. Within 10 minutes it was over, and some 100 children and 60 of their adult escorts were dead or dying.

An investigation revealed that the tent had undergone a treatment with flammable paraffin thinned with three parts of gasoline to make it waterproof. Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus eventually agreed to pay $5 million in compensation, and several of the organizers were convicted on manslaughter charges. In 1950, in a late development in the case, Robert D. Segee of Circleville, Ohio, confessed to starting the Hartford circus fire. Segee claimed that he had been an arsonist since the age of six and that an apparition of an Indian on a flaming horse often visited him and urged him to set fires. In November 1950, Segee was sentenced to two consecutive terms of 22 years in prison, the maximum penalty in Ohio at the time.

How sad that this whole disaster was the result of bad decisions of some and the evil intentions of one! How sad indeed!

Let's get some fresh coffee and sit outside! I may have to do a rain dance!


Spud said...

Prime example of that which would occur under a Ron Paul type deregulation of government. If people are not regulated, greed takes over safety concerns. Sad but true.

Sixbears said...

Behind every major fire regulation is a horrible fire where people lost lives. They can be annoying and costly, but they save lives.

JoJo said...

How horrible. I am gald that today we have better saftey regulations if indeed the make sure it happens. And unfortunatly we never know about the mental instabilty of others. said...

Those poor children (and all involved, of course). I can picture eyes opened as wide as possible with pleasure just moments before terror!
I would share our rain with you if possible. It is getting so dark in here now I am going to have to turn a light on or sign off. I do believe I hear my couch calling me, though.
Have a great one, Bubba. Love you.