Munitions Explode at Alamo Dump
(AP) As ammunition magazine exploded early today in a remote area of the Alamogordo Air Base reservation, producing a brilliant flash and blast which were reported to have been observed as far away as Gallup 235 miles northwest.
Col. William O. Eareckson, Alamogordo commandant, declared there was "no loss of life or injury to anyone, and the property damage outside of the explosives magazine itself were negligible."
His statement said the magazine contained "a considerable amount of high explosives and pyrotechnics," and that "weather conditions affecting the contents of gas shells exploded by the blast" might make it desirable to evacuate temporarily a few civilians.
There is a civilian area on the reservation.
At Alamogordo, 10 miles from the base, Mrs. Tom Charles said she knew of no damage there from the explosion.
At Silver City, 135 miles southwest, and at Gallup the blast rattled windows. The vivid flash preceding the concussion by several minutes was reported seen near Silver Creek, Gallup and on highways around Albuquerque, 150 miles north.
"I saw a flash of fire followed by a violent explosion and smoke," reported Ranger Ray Smith on duty on the Lookout Mountain tower, near Beaverhead, northwest of Silver City.
He said there were two other smaller explosions, occurring at 5:30 a.m. He said he had no explanation for the blasts.
From Gallup came reports the two explosions rattled windows there this morning and awoke a number of persons at 5:45 a.m.
An explosion heard near Socorro "lighted up the sky like the sun," reported Joe Willis, Socorro theater operator.