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Wednesday, April 24 2019 @ 08:05 PM UTC

Remembering the "Polvorin" Fire

History & Reference On the 5th of May, 1914, a fire alarm was called in at 3:10 in the morning. There was a large fire at the "polvorin," the storage facility for everything dangerous. In the building were barrels of gunpowder, boxes of dynamite, nitroglycerin, and other chemicals and explosives that were owned by private companies, the Panama Canal, and the government of Panama. The firement knew the facility was full of dangerous and explosive materials, but they responded, connected their hoses, and attacked the flames in an attempt to put out the fire. Then, there was a terrible explosion that killed six firemen and seriously wounded another nine. The "Plaza 5 de Mayo" on Central Avenue was built as a tribute and monument to the firemen of Panama, who commorate the anniversary of this tragedy every year. This year they built a new monument on the exact spot where the "polvorin" used to exist, right next to the Santa Fe hospital on Transistmica, in front of the "America" car repair shop.
Capitan Olivo de la Hoz and his daughter designed the new monument and oversaw its construction.


Capitan Olivo de la Hoz and his daughter place flowers at the new monument.


The new monument is located right next to the Santa Fe hospital on Transistmica.


The designers of the monument.


The Fire Chief of Panama, Mario Ramirez Puerta, answers reporters questions about the historical event. Reporters also took advantage of the opportunity to grill the Chief about the recent fire at one of the courthouses in Panama that destroyed many legal records. The fire is being investigated, and arson is suspected.


Firement played taps at the end of the ceremony.




Fire officals made several speeches to the assembled firemen.








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