One of the worst disasters in United States history occurred at the docks in Texas City on April 16 and 17, 1947. The Texas City Disaster was caused by two explosions. The first occurred the morning of April 16, when a French ship loaded with ammonium nitrate exploded. The second occurred not long after midnight, when a second ship – also loaded wih ammonium nitrate – exploded as a result of the fire from the first explosion. Over 600 people died, and over 1,000 buildings were destroyed.