Remember the deadly 1963 Halloween blast in Marietta?


Remember the deadly 1963 Halloween blast in Marietta?

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Bartow Adair/Courtesy of Marietta Fire Department
This is the October 31, 1963 scene on the Marietta Square at the site of the explosion at Atherton Drugs that left several people dead and others injured. The explosion was at 6:23 pm. The historical photo, courtesy of the Marietta Fire Department, was taken by Bartow Adair, who was at the time chief investigator for the Marietta Fire Department. Today this building is the home to a restaurant, the Marietta Pizza Company.

On Oct. 31, 1963, a deadly explosion at Atherton's Drugstore in Marietta Square — where Marietta Pizza Company stands today — left seven dead and 23 injured.

It was Halloween and children were parading around in their costumes when, around 6:30 p.m., tragedy struck the city.

Debris was thrown high into the air and atop a two-story bank building only 50 feet away, a child's shoe was found.

Though the cause of the blast was not determined immediately, it was later found to be a leaking gas main in the basement.

"I don't know what exactly to say. It is the most horrible tragedy to ever happen in Marietta," Mayor Sam Welch told a reporter.

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