70th Anniversary of the Swift Company Plant Explosion in Sioux City, Iowa

Dec 13, 2019

Saturday, December 14, 2019 marks the 70th anniversary of one of Sioux City’s most tragic industrial accidents. 

Siouxland Public Media’s Sheila Brummer explores the explosion of the Swift and Company Meatpacking Plant with the story of one survivor and a modern day historian who takes us back in time.

You can explore the archives of the Swift Plant explosion at the Sioux City Public Museum’s Research Center.  Public hours are Wednesday through Friday from 1 to 5 p.m.  Or, you can also make an appointment.

Sam Hallowell still lives on the farm he bought outside of Hornick, Iowa all those years ago.  He’s now 98. 

The Swift Plant explosion wasn’t the first time he faced death and lived.  During World War II, Hollowell says he was shipwrecked in Normandy, France two days after D-Day.  Foggy conditions kept the Germans from seeing the helpless vessel.