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1950s / West Side Baptist Church Explosion
This is one of the great collection of coincidences of all time--or is it something else? You decide. At 7:27 p.m. on Wednesday, March 1, 1950 in Beatrice, Nebraska, the West Side Baptist Church was reduced to smithereens when its gas furnace exploded. The explosion should have resulted in serious injury and/or fatalities to the 15 members of the church choir who normally met at 7:25 p.m. on Wednesdays for practice. However, by a fortuitous series of coincidences, no one was in the building when it exploded because every one of the 15 choir members was uncharacteristically late for one reason or another: The pastor (who actually lit the furnace but had returned home), his wife and daughter were late, as the daughter's dress was soiled and the wife was ironing another. A high-school sophomore was late due to difficulty with her geometry homework. Two sisters were late because their car would not start--and their alternate ride was the member with the geometry problem. Another member and her daughter were late as she had to attend to matters at her mother's house before arriving. Yet another member was delayed while writing an important letter. One member waited until the last possible minute before leaving due to the cold weather. Another member was taking care of his two young sons and did not realize until the last minute he was late. The pianist had planned to arrive 30 minutes early but fell asleep after dinner, which caused her and her mother (the choir's director) to be late. Two high-school students were late because one wanted to hear the end of a radio program; the other waited for her as they customarily went to practice together. Makes you think, doesn't it?