Local News


It's been 30 years since PEPCON explosions rocked Las Vegas

Posted at 6:14 AM, May 04, 2018
and last updated 2018-05-04 09:46:09-04

Friday, May 4 marks 30 years since several explosion rocked Henderson.

Today, the spot looks totally different.

You could see flames from miles away. The blasts killed two employees and injured more than 300 others. 

The Pacific Engineering and Production Company of Nevada, better known as PEPCON, produced a chemical used by NASA. Fire investigators determined sparks from a welder's torch and poor housekeeping started the explosions.


PEPCON since moved to Utah and its old site is an industrial park.

When PEPCON blew up most of the injuries and damages happened within a ten mile radius. Back then it was mostly desert, but today some homes have sprung up in what would have been the most dangerous zone.

"We would've felt it for sure. I don't know. It would have been devastating," said Bob Kemp, who lives near the former PEPCON site.

A lot of people in newer Henderson subdivisions haven't heard of PEPCON. Some only found out after they bought their homes.

Few are worried about any lasting effects.

"You're going to get pollution wherever you go. It's just a fact of life. These cars that drive around here are probably worse than that, but yeah, every once in a while I'll think about it," said Jeff Lauber, who also lives near the former PEPCON site.

There are other manufacturers in the area today. Some people worry another tragedy is possible.