Residents mourned and recovered together
In a single instance in Richmond's history, lives were lost and changed, the landscape altered and, later, laws were affected.
Forty-four years ago, at 1:47 p.m. on April 6, 1968, a sunny Saturday afternoon was shattered when a pair of explosions unleashed an inferno at Sixth and East Main streets.
Forty-one people -- ages 7 to 72 -- died.
More than 120 other people were injured.
The tragedy was centered at Marting Arms, a sporting goods store, but immediately damaged surrounding buildings, eventually destroying 15.
Investigators said the incident might have started when a spark of unknown origin ignited natural gas from a leaking pipe. That then set off the gunpowder and ammunition stored in Marting Arms. However, the explosion eliminated all evidence.
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