August 26, 1992 |
BACKGROUND: On July 17, 1944, 320 people died--including 202 black American servicemen--in an explosion at Port Chicago, a munitions dock east of Oakland, which is now the Concord Naval Weapons Station (View, July 16, 1991). Fifty African-American seamen were subsequently convicted of mutiny after they and others refused to work until safer conditions were implemented. UPDATE: The Navy, under a congressional order signed by President Bush, is investigating whether racism tainted the trial.
July 12, 1992 |
All that is left of the Napa Valley's most spectacular mansion is a big hole in the ground, a swimming pool and a whole lot of questions. When the 18,000-square-foot wine country chateau exploded last April, it seemed to lift off like a rocket, then disintegrated into a heap of rubble. The heat was so intense, and the destruction so complete, that investigators were lucky to find some silverware.
January 4, 1992 |
Equipment failure probably caused a fatal laboratory explosion involving cold fusion research, fire investigators said. The blast at SRI International that killed one researcher and injured three others occurred after an automatic pressure-release valve failed on a sealed canister, said Menlo Park Fire Capt. Jim Lichtenstein. "One of the experimenters tried to open it manually to release the pressure valve and that's when it blew up," Lichtenstein said.
January 3, 1992 |
A metal canister used in a cold-fusion experiment at a major research institution near Stanford University exploded Thursday, killing one scientist and injuring three others. The explosion at SRI International in Menlo Park was described as a mechanical or chemical explosion--not nuclear--and occurred when one of the scientists was releasing pressure in a six-inch-tall cylinder, according to Menlo Park Fire Department spokesman Rick Reed.
September 27, 1991 |
A powerful propane explosion inside a house seriously burned four police officers as they tried unsuccessfully to keep a man from killing himself early Thursday. The blast blew one officer through a window and dropped him 50 feet away, and another was flung through a wall. All four officers were hospitalized in critical condition. The suicide victim, Bill Samuels, 42, apparently released propane in his boarding room after stuffing sheets under the door.
June 1, 1990 |
An anonymous letter writer, purportedly a Scriptures-quoting religious fundamentalist, has claimed responsibility for the car bomb that injured two Earth First! activists in Oakland last week.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 30, 1990 |
Prosecutors said Tuesday they will wait at least two weeks before deciding whether to formally charge two environmental activists accused by police of causing an explosion that nearly killed the pair last week. Supporters of the two said the delay indicates police have a weak case and renewed their charge that someone tried to assassinate the activists to stop their efforts to preserve old-growth redwoods. One of the activists, Darryl Cherney, 33, of Piercy, remained free on bail Tuesday.
May 26, 1990 |
Two Earth First! activists recovering from injuries suffered when an explosion tore through their car were arrested Friday by Oakland police for possessing and transporting an explosive device. However, Oakland authorities released no evidence as to why they believe the two suspects are to blame for the explosion Thursday that nearly killed them.
May 25, 1990 |
An explosion of uncertain origin tore through a car as it drove down an Oakland street Thursday, injuring two members of the radical environmental group Earth First! The two injured people, Judi Bari, 40, of Mendocino and Darryl Cherney, 33, of Piercy, had complained to police before the blast of death threats and general harassment in apparent retaliation for their efforts to stop the logging of old-growth redwoods.