Frederick E. Gale saved Arthur C. Reid and Frank L. Feinberg following an explosion, Cambridge, Massachusetts, July 5, 1965. In the experimental hall of the Cambridge Electron Accelerator at Harvard University, a violent explosion occurred during an experiment involving 100 gallons of liquefied hydrogen and a refrigerant which was mostly helium. Segments of the concrete roof fell to the floor amid extensive debris which included various instruments, electrical equipment, and containers of inflammable gases, oil, and other combustibles. Gale, 49, cryogenics technician, who was near a door, was hurled outside and sustained bruises and lacerations. Research technicians Reid, 20, and Feinberg, 20, and six other men in the hall were injured severely. A huge ball of fire followed the explosion, igniting the debris and the men’s clothing. All except Reid, Feinberg, and a third man made their way from the hall. Gale entered and ran to a control room, where he shut off the flow of all gases from large outside tanks. Stepping back into the hall, he saw Reid stumbling about in a daze in a passageway among the experimental areas. Most of Reid’s clothing had been burned away. Gale ran 80 feet to Reid and then saw Feinberg, whose clothing also was afire, 20 feet farther away. Gale beat out the remaining flames on Reid’s clothing and led him to the control room. He then ran to Feinberg, who was close to flames rising as much as 30 feet at the explosion area. Gale beat out the flames on Feinberg’s remaining attire and also led him to the control room. Meanwhile Kenneth M. George had heard the explosion in another part of the complex and had run to the hall, where a continuing mass of flames rose above the exploded experimental area. Looking for victims as he made his way along one end of the hall, George saw Gale and the two burned men and went to them. With George leading Reid while Gale led Feinberg, they made their way to an exit. The burned men were turned over to an ambulance crew. George then returned to the hall and was at an exit ramp when a second explosion occurred. It was not as violent, but it spread fire over a wider area and ignited additional combustibles. George ran 30 feet to the passageway and, looking for possible victims, continued 70 feet along it to near the massive flames. He saw no one, the third man by then having crawled to the other end of the hall. Flames were increasing as George ran back to the ramp and left. Gale, firemen., and others removed the third man after forcing open a jammed door at the other end of the hall, where fire conditions were less severe. Reid later died of his burns and injuries, but Feinberg and the others recovered.
48223 – 496748223-4967