The terrorist bombing in Oklahoma City

Book Section

It was the most deadly terrorist bombing in American history. On Wednesday, April 19, 1995, a blast from thousands of pounds of fuel oil and fertilizer ripped through the nine-story Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City in an instant, tearing a huge crater from the street to the roof. A red-orange fireball lit the sky as the north side of the building dissolved. What remained of the building looked monstrous, spitting cable and concrete onto the plaza below while gas, smoke, and dust filled the sky. Layer after layer of the building collapsed and pancaked one onto the other as ceilings crashed onto the floors below. Desks, chairs, file cabinets, refrigerators, and potted plants were thrown into the street in a tangle of wires, steel, and concrete. Toys from the children’s daycare center located on the second floor scattered everywhere. Reverberations from the blast shattered windows throughout the city; and glass fell like sharp rain over whole sections of the city, literally covering the streets for blocks and blocks throughout the downtown area. Parking meters were ripped from the ground, roofs collapsed, and metal doors twisted around themselves. Cars parked on the street crumbled, flipped, and burst into flames. Hundreds of frantic people streamed out of nearby office buildings, with blood-matted hair, cut faces, and clothes in bloody shreds. There was no screaming; just quiet terror showed in their faces.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Sitterle, KA; Gurwitch, RH

Published Date

  • January 1, 2013

Book Title

  • When a Community Weeps: Case Studies in Group Survivorship

Start / End Page

  • 161 - 190

International Standard Book Number 10 (ISBN-10)

  • 0876309538

International Standard Book Number 13 (ISBN-13)

  • 9781138005129

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.4324/9780203778012-20

Citation Source

  • Scopus