Every great fire or similar tragedy has been followed by a wave of official inspections. So with the awful Boston fire.
Cynical people are inclined to talk about “locking the door after the horse is stolen.” Perhaps so. Such belated investigations cannot save lives already lost. But we are certain they save lives which might be lost in future potential tragedies.
Naturally, Boston authorities are busily investigating circumstances of the nightclub fire which cost approximately 500 lives. The facts thus far deduced are damning. Here was a club with nearly a thousand patrons – and only two main entrances, both of them through revolving doors. There was a third small door from a cocktail lounge and a small service exit.
Of the two revolving doors – one was fastened but was supposed to releaser through a “panic clutch” intended to work if enough pressure were applied. Apparently, the force applied by one of the most hysterical pressures in history wasn’t enough to release it.
Pittsburgh City Council yesterday ordered the Departments of Safety and Public Health to inspect all nightclubs in this city.
Some folks will say this was a grandstand play.
Which is silly.
All of us, unfortunately, are hindsighted. We act on the basis of facts we should have appreciated previously.
How often – we ask – have the readers of this paper scanned some story about an auto accident, about the little girl who played with matches, or the baby who pulled the scalding water off the kitchen stove? How often have we read about the family with the unsafe gas heater or the one that left an unmarked poison bottle on the bathroom shelf?
Or the little girl who ran across the street without looking?
Okay, we’re all guilty. None of us locks the barn door till the horse escapes.
Pittsburgh City Council yesterday ordered inspection of all nightclubs.
Boston’s officials ordered an ordinance against the use of decorations that might easily burn.
Aftersight – yes. But foresight against other tragedies that might come.
Every nightclub, every place where sporting events are held, every place of public meeting should be inspected. If the exists – as was the case in the Boston tragedy – are not adequate, make the owners conform to safe practices. If they won’t conform, make them quit business.
We believe there are a number of places in Pittsburgh which are potential deathtraps.
Sure, this may be afterthought, but it might be forethought as regards future tragedies.
Assembly line system of building merchant vessels wins praise from our allied astonishes old-time builders who said it couldn’t be done
By Charles T. Lucey, Scripps-Howard staff writer
Prominent athletic heads take common sense view on programs for wartime
By Paul Scheffels, United Press staff writer
Communications Commission reminded of efforts to curtail calls
Hang on a min… Wasnt Yamamoto the heaviest battleship ever made?
The news is referring to the heaviest in the U.S.
U.S. Navy Department (December 2, 1942)
On December 1, Army and Marine Corps troops on Guadalcanal Island engaged in extensive patrols along the outskirts of our positions.
An Army patrol killed 11 Japanese and captured a 70-mm gun.
A Marine Corps patrol killed 25 Japanese and captured one 75-mm and one 30-mm gun along the upper Lunga River.
Another Marine patrol killed 15 Japanese and captured 6 machine guns.
Army planes carried out four attacks on enemy positions.
The Pittsburgh Press (December 2, 1942)
Nazis isolated at Bizerte and Tunis, communication line to Libya severed
By Edward W. Beattie, United Press staff writer
Providence, Rhode Island (UP) –
Scores of families were evacuated by police and firemen at Warwick, Rhode Island, early today when a 60-mile gale caused the highest tide since the disastrous hurricane of 1938.
Narragansett Bay and Providence River communities all the way from Newport to this city reported near flood conditions.
Wind ranging from 40 to 60 miles an hour was accompanies by torrential rain and by lightning which felled several chimneys.
No casualties were reported.
New York (UP) –
Tom M. Girdler, board chairman and former president of the Republic Steel Corporation, will marry Miss Helen R. Brennan, a secretary, today.
It will be the fourth marriage for Mr. Girdler. Last Saturday, his marriage to Lillian C. Snowden was terminated by a Reno divorce. They had been married since April 1924, and have four children.