Explosion: 3M Response to Disaster

It was -12 degrees F. at 8:20 A.M. on February 8, 1951, when an explosion rocked the six-story Minerals Building (Building 12). It destroyed two floors, plunging them into darkness, damaged the adjacent tape packing plant, sent smoke through the underground tunnels of the Saint Paul Plant, and showered debris on the streets.

The explosion killed thirteen 3M employees and one truck driver making a delivery, and injured 50 others.

The next day, President Richard M. Carlton announced that a break in a propane gas supply line had caused the explosion.

The company’s greatest disaster led to revisions in training and safety procedures to prevent further accidents.

Images

Building  12 After the Explosion

Building 12 After the Explosion

It was -12 degrees F. at 8:20 A.M. on February 8, 1951, when an explosion rocked the six-story Minerals Building (Building 12). It destroyed two floors, plunging them into darkness, damaged the adjacent tape packing plant, sent smoke through the underground tunnels of the Saint Paul Plant, and showered debris on the streets. | Source: Minnesota Historical Society View File Details Page

Explosion Victims Receiving Medical Care

Explosion Victims Receiving Medical Care

The explosion killed thirteen 3M employees and one truck driver making a delivery, and injured 50 others. | Source: Minnesota Historical Society View File Details Page

Building 12 After the Explosion

Building 12 After the Explosion

The operations of the Minerals department were reorganized and temporarily located in Buildings 11, 14, and 20, while Building 12 was undergoing rebuilding and repairs. | Source: Minnesota Historical Society View File Details Page

Cite this Page:

Marjorie Pearson, Summit Envirosolutions, Inc., “Explosion: 3M Response to Disaster,” Saint Paul Historical, accessed August 17, 2017, http://saintpaulhistorical.com/items/show/360.

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