We asked our followers on Facebook if any of them were living in the Las Vegas valley when the incident happened at PEPCON 30 years ago. Here are some of the replies we received:
I was in English class at Chaparral HS. I remember it shook the room and some of ceiling tiles fell down. We thought the Russians had bombed us. Red Dawn was still a popular movie back then. Lol.
I remember I was at Nevada State Bank on Maryland Parkway when this happened. Scared the hell out of me.
I was only 1 or 2 years old, but I remember the stories. My aunt Teresa Rae Lee was injured in the blast. She was thrown into a wall where she worked when the windows blew out. She's lucky to still be alive.
We lived in Henderson. My youngest son was in afternoon kindergarten. Just 20 minutes before the explosion he was sitting in a chair eating his lunch before my wife took him to St. Anne. During the trip to school the Pepcon blast occurred.
It shattered my window, and i was still in bed. I thought someone was trying to break in.
I was working at the airport. We thought a airplane had crashed. It blew doors and windows down there.
Scared the living c___p out of me. Took my kids out of school and drove away from the black cloud.
Pepcon was a customer of my dad.... We were in LA and I remember my dad being upset and freaked out.
Terry Marra Eckhart
Remember it well. We were in the employee dining room at the Tropicana Hotel and when the first explosion happened we thouhht it was a thunderstorm. We knew it was something bad when the second explosion happened. Felt the shockwaves.
When we got home we were shocked to see the garage door caved in. We were more shocked to see that the sliding glass door had imploded. Shards of glass were embedded in the same chair where my son had been sitting and eating lunch not more than 20 minutes before the explosion.
Mixed emotions swept over us. It was the recognition and fear of what could have happened, and immense gratefulness that our little boy was safe.
The weirdest part was for days after you could smell the scent of roasted marshmallows in the air.
Ellen Monllor Van Ert
Was working at the corner of Lake Mead and Nellis at the time ... Boooomm ! Also blew the windows out at the stores in Henderson! They put plywood over them and re-opened.
It was so unreal. I was working at Sizzler and we had bay windows in the front of the store somebody was coming in the front door we had a beer delivery come in through the back door so we were lucky that all those front windows did not break it moved the walls the windows were on an inch and a half we had huge plants that were hanging from the ceiling and they fell and landed on tables we still have people in there and I’ll never forget People we’re running out the doors. I had some people from Arizona and they asked for to go boxes. I’m like here hurry cause I was so scared the roof would collapse.
I remember this! The whole city was rocked by the explosions. Lots of widespread damage in a Henderson, with damage reports as far as 15 miles away. I was home from school that day and I remember being jolted off the couch. I was 7 years old.
I was 2nd grade George E. Harris elementary (D.I./Sandhill) on the playground and saw the smoke plume. In those days we started thinking it was a Russian attack.
I remember that very well we are from California been though two major earthquakes and that is what I thought that was.
I was a news photographer with Channel 13 at the time. Reporter Brad Johansen and I were live on the scene within minutes of the explosion. If memory serves me, we were the first television news crew on the scene. It remains one of the most memorable days from my time at KTNV.
I remember that day when suddenly my parent's windows were shattered into pieces.
Kelly W. Muhr-Suhr
I was in 1st grade at Laura Dearing Elementary. I remember the roof tiles caving in.
I remember that day. I was in the 5th grade at Laura Dearing elementary school it was lunch time I came back from the bathroom to get my seat back in everybody was all scared and shutter and the teachers were on the microphone trying to come kids down when the second blast wave hit the school the roof of the cafeteria fell down on all of us it was a mad dash of kids and teachers to get out of the cafeteria luckily no one was seriously hurt, just a bunch of cuts and bruises.
I was at McCarran Airport and the explosion blew out windows.
Steve Jordan Warner
I was in Tonopah Hall(UNLV), in my north-facing dorm room, sound asleep when it blew. Shook the dorms, broke windows on south-side facing rooms......I slept right through it. My roommate came running in, telling me what happened and stopped in his tracks and said sumthin like "YOU SLEPT THRU THAT"?!?!
Terry B. Kelley
I was working at a retail store on meadows lane near the Toys R Us there, and it shook the fronts doors, and that is a long distance.
I remember it all too well! We had just moved to Vegas in January. I was feeding my baby and had just moved away from the window. Had we not moved away from the window, we would have gotten hurt!
I was standing on the dorm steps thinking it might have been a airplane crash since it was in the direction of McCarran. Then the explosion hit. Ran in and check my roommate then grabbed my keys and headed for the plume of smoke. After several detours and working my way around roads that were blocked off I ended up at a spot where a road ended and there wasn't anything between me and a few other people and open desert to the plant. Watched it for about an hour. Didn't dawn on me that if it exploded again I'd be in direct line of it. I do remember talking with the other people though about possible chemical hazards.