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Survivors remember New London school explosion


By Crystal Kobza

"Only five minutes remained before dismissal time when the explosion came which brought such havoc as to shock the entire nation."

Old news reports bring March 18th, 1937 back to life.

Some 300 students and faculty members died after a natural gas leak caused the New London School to explode.

70 years later, survivors still come back to remember the tragedy.

"Just like it happened yesterday, it's something that stays with you, you never, never forget it," said survivor Lucille Damuth.

Lucille Damuth was one of the few people who made it out alive.

When the explosion happened, she ran outside to the football field.

Minutes later, her parents drove up.

Damuth's younger sister died that day.

"My mom and dad said it was hard losing one and there were some people who lost more than one child here that day."

John Davidson also lost a loved one in the blast.

He was born three years after the tragedy and has learned about his sister through talking with her friends.

"Really, I didn't know a whole lot about here because, like everybody else in this community, mother and daddy would not
talk about it," said John Davidson, who works as a tour guide.

Charles Dial ran home to get his band uniform that fateful day.

By the time he got back... the school was gone.

"There were dead bodies all around, people were hurt, laying around, but at that time people had started to accumulate and taking their kids
to different places," said survivor Charles Dial.

The writings on the New London Museum walls tell the story of March 18th, 1937.

It's a day these survivors say they will never forget.

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