19.04.

1995: Horrific Bombing in Oklahoma City

1995: Horrific Bombing in Oklahoma City
Photo Credit To flickr.com (Author: Edward Stojakovic, picture taken in the Bombing Memorial Museum))

Story Highlights

  • Historical event:
  • 19 April 1995
  • On the morning of this day, the main offender - Timothy McVeigh – drove in front of the building in a truck loaded with approximately 2,300 kg of heavy explosive mixture composed of two-component explosives and large amounts of fertilizer. He lit the fuses and walked away ...

On this day the deadliest terrorist attack in the United States prior to the destruction of the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center took place. 

In Oklahoma City, terrorists almost completely destroyed the Federal Building which contained the offices of the Social Security Administration, the United States Secret Service, the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms.

On the morning of this day, the main perpetrator – Timothy McVeigh – drove in front of the building in a truck loaded with approximately 2,300 kg of heavy explosive mixture composed of two-component explosives and large amounts of fertilizer. He lit the fuses and walked away. He wore a T-shirt with the inscription “Sic semper tyrannis” (“Thus always to tyrants”) and “The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants”.

The bomb exploded within minutes. The explosion was so strong that it made a crater 9 meters in diameter, collapsed an entire wing of the government building, damaged another 324 buildings in 16 blocks and blew up or burned 86 cars in the area. The detonation was around 3.0 on the Richter scale and could be heard 89 km away.

In total, 168 people were killed, including 19 children under the age of 6. More than 680 people were injured, mostly from flying pieces of exploding glass. Total material damage was estimated at $ 652 million. The bomber Timothy McVeigh was arrested less than an hour and a half after the explosion. He was sentenced to death and executed via lethal injection in 2001.

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