The explosion caused 15-foot waves to fall onto the dock and flooded the surrounding area. The window broke into the distance of Houston, and the sound of the explosion recorded on a seismograph in Denver, Colorado shook. A barge anchored in the harbor blew out of the water and landed 110 feet away.
Everyone standing nearby, including almost the entire Texas City Volunteer Fire Department, was immediately killed. Buildings near the explosion were razed to the ground, and the adjacent Monsanto factory was destroyed.
Burning debris caused fires in nearby chemical plants and refineries.
Calls for help were sent across the country, and rescuers everywhere responded to the disaster.