From the Archives: 1947 explosions destroy tanker Markay in Los Angeles Harbor, kill 12
By Scott Harrison
Jun 21, 2019 | 1:00 AM
Just after 2 a.m., June 22, 1947, a series of explosions sank the tanker Markay. A dozen workers were killed and 22 injured. A story in the next morning’s Los Angeles Times reported:
Los Angeles Harbor was rocked by a series of tremendous blasts yesterday when an oil tanker blew up, killing at least two persons and causing fires, that, fed by spreading gasoline, consumed five shipping berths and parts of two others, besides oil-loading equipment and sheds.
Twenty-two persons were injured and 12 are missing.
The ill-fated vessel was the Markay, owned by Keystone Tankship Corp., which exploded at 2:05 a.m. at the Shell Oil Co. docks on Morman Island, Wilmington, while it was loading gasoline for shipment to Northern California. Burning gasoline from the shattered ship bolted across the channel, igniting the terminals of the American President Lines. ….
A followup article in the July 3, 1947, Los Angeles Times reported a coroner’s jury decided there was “no evidence of negligence” and the Markay sinking, “accidental.” The same article reported 10 deaths and two people still missing.
A Sept. 12, 1947, Los Angeles Times article reported 12 deaths in the Markay sinking.