Houston County Courier - Local News
Stories Added - Sunday, April 13, 2008
Copyright 2008 - Polk County Publishing Company
98 years old survivor of the Texas City disaster
Houston County Courier - April 2008
By Crystal Rhone
Wednesday, April 16 marks the 61st anniversary of the Texas City disaster, which is considered being the worst industrial explosion in America.
Estelle Scarborough, 98, and lives to tell her side of the dramatic day in 1947 that changed her life forever.
According to Marty Cash, Ms. Scarborough was born on July 23, 1909 in Augusta and is the daughter of William and Flonia Cutler Scarborough.
On the morning of April 16, 1947 Ms. Scarborough went to her job at Monsanto Chemical in Texas City as usual.
Ms. Scaroborough sister, Avalona Read visiting from Grapeland, drove her to work on that fateful morning.
Ms. Scarborough’s job at the company store was counting grinding wheels when the French Liberty ship Grancamp exploded, causing a huge mushroom cloud that extended more than 2,000 feet into the air.
The loud explosion was heard 150 miles away and said to have swayed buildings in Baytown.
Officials have estimated that 3,500 people injured that day.
One hundred people were classified as missing and no trace has ever been found.
Ms. Scarborough was taken to the John Sealey Hospital in Galveston where she spent three months.
She was later moved to Danforth Hospital in Texas City.
Ms. Scarborough moved to Grapeland and was unable to work due the severe injuries she sustained in the massive explosion.
Over the past 51 years she has had over 100 pieces of leaded glass removed from her body and skin graphs to heal her wounds.
She still has 80 pieces of glass in her right hip down to her knee and a piece on her right wrist that will be removed soon.
Today Ms. Scarborough enjoys playing bingo, piecing puzzles together and reading the newspaper.
As the oldest living survivor of the Texas City Disaster, Ms. Scarborough will be at the Enchanted Pines Retirement Community Thursday, April 17 at 2 p.m. to share her amazing story.