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NPR 07-11:Remembering the Horror and Heroes of a Circus Fire

时间:2008-06-20 03:09来源:互联网 提供网友:wshqye   字体: [ ]
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A quick-thinking stranger helped Maureen Krekian escape one of the worst fire disasters in U.S. history.

Time now for StoryCoprs, a project that's traveling the country recording1 your stories. On this summer day in 1944, a circus in Hartford, Connecticut went up in flames. Nearly 9000 people had crowded under the big top that day. Shortly after the show began, the tent caught fire. It had been waterproofed2 with a mixture of gasoline and wax, causing the big top to be completely consumed in less than 10 minutes. That fire claimed 167 lives, over 1/3 of them children. And became one of the nation's deadliest ever. Maureen Krekian was at the circus that day.

Hartford this afternoon suffered one of the greatest catastrophes3 in its history, and during a matinee performance of Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey circus, the big tent suddenly burst into flame and burned to the ground.

It was 1944 July the 6th, a very hot day. I was 11 years old. I was supposed to go to the circus with the lady next door and her daughter. I went and knocked on the door and they weren't there. They had already left without me. Now I had never been to the circus before, and there was no way that I was going to go home and tell my grandmother that I was alone. That would never have been permitted. So, I just ran up to street, and went to the circus by myself.

The Flying Wallendas, the world famous aerial act were performing on their trapezes when the fire broke.

I remember somebody yelling and seeing a big ball of fire near the top of the tent. And this ball of fire just got bigger and bigger and bigger.

An eyewitness4 told us that it appeared almost like spontaneous combustion5, so quickly was the big tent of a mass of flame.

By that time, everybody was panicking. The exit was blocked with the cages that the animals were brought in and out with. And there was a man taking kids and flinging them up and over that cage to get them out. I was sitting up probably halfway6 upon the bleachers. And jumped down, you jumped down and it was all straw underneath7. And there was a young man, a kid, he had a pocketknife. And he slit8 the tent, took my arm and pulled me out. And then I turned around and grabbed a kid, it was a little girl, and pulled her out.

The bleachers were burned to a crease9, 60 bodies were removed from that spot alone.

My uncle was out in the backyard of our home. We lived on the same street as where the circus was held. And he was sawing wood, and he saw the reflection of the fire in his saw. He went running around, trying to find me. And of course he couldn't get anywhere near it by that time.

Parents and relatives were standing10 about not knowing what had become of their families.

I came running out from the circus tent, all the way home. I can still see my uncle. He was so mad. You know ,how you'd get when you have a child. And you think they are lost, then you wanna kill them and kiss them at the same time.

The spot where the tent'd been was a giant mess of walls and wires.

The circus never came back to Hartford until the 70s. And then they never came back in a tent again. But I've never had a desire to go.

What if that boy heard this interview? What would you like to say to him?

Oh, I'd throw my arms around him and thank him, I wouldn't be 74 years old today. I'd be long gone.

It's a tragedy Hartford will never forget and everyone in Hartford hopes it will never be repeated.

Maureen Krekian remembering the Hartford circus fire of 1944 with her daughters Lynn and Joanne. The newscast you heard was from WTIC Radio in Hartford. This interview will be archived with all StoryCorps interviews at the Library of Congress. Subscribe11 to the StoryCorps podcast at npr.org.


点击收听单词发音收听单词发音  

1 recording UktzJj     
n.录音,记录
参考例句:
  • How long will the recording of the song take?录下这首歌得花多少时间?
  • I want to play you a recording of the rehearsal.我想给你放一下彩排的录像。
2 waterproofed 355fc7d6d1943c1bb38f087aa9bc4aa5     
v.使防水,使不透水( waterproof的过去式和过去分词 )
参考例句:
  • Waterproofed 100% leather upper, with a light, durable polyurethane molded sole. 有一亮,持久聚氨基甲酸乙酯的使能防水100%皮革鞋帮塑造脚底。 来自互联网
  • The outer covering of the egg is waterproofed to prevent the embryo from drying out. 鸡蛋的外壳是不透水的,防止胚胎失水。 来自互联网
3 catastrophes 9d10f3014dc151d21be6612c0d467fd0     
n.灾祸( catastrophe的名词复数 );灾难;不幸事件;困难
参考例句:
  • Two of history's worst natural catastrophes occurred in 1970. 1970年发生了历史上最严重两次自然灾害。 来自辞典例句
  • The Swiss deposits contain evidence of such catastrophes. 瑞士的遗址里还有这种灾难的证据。 来自辞典例句
4 eyewitness VlVxj     
n.目击者,见证人
参考例句:
  • The police questioned several eyewitness to the murder.警察询问了谋杀案的几位目击者。
  • He was the only eyewitness of the robbery.他是那起抢劫案的唯一目击者。
5 combustion 4qKzS     
n.燃烧;氧化;骚动
参考例句:
  • We might be tempted to think of combustion.我们也许会联想到氧化。
  • The smoke formed by their combustion is negligible.由它燃烧所生成的烟是可忽略的。
6 halfway Xrvzdq     
adj.中途的,不彻底的,部分的;adv.半路地,在中途,在半途
参考例句:
  • We had got only halfway when it began to get dark.走到半路,天就黑了。
  • In study the worst danger is give up halfway.在学习上,最忌讳的是有始无终。
7 underneath VKRz2     
adj.在...下面,在...底下;adv.在下面
参考例句:
  • Working underneath the car is always a messy job.在汽车底下工作是件脏活。
  • She wore a coat with a dress underneath.她穿着一件大衣,里面套着一条连衣裙。
8 slit tE0yW     
n.狭长的切口;裂缝;vt.切开,撕裂
参考例句:
  • The coat has been slit in two places.这件外衣有两处裂开了。
  • He began to slit open each envelope.他开始裁开每个信封。
9 crease qo5zK     
n.折缝,褶痕,皱褶;v.(使)起皱
参考例句:
  • Does artificial silk crease more easily than natural silk?人造丝比天然丝更易起皱吗?
  • Please don't crease the blouse when you pack it.包装时请不要将衬衫弄皱了。
10 standing 2hCzgo     
n.持续,地位;adj.永久的,不动的,直立的,不流动的
参考例句:
  • After the earthquake only a few houses were left standing.地震过后只有几幢房屋还立着。
  • They're standing out against any change in the law.他们坚决反对对法律做任何修改。
11 subscribe 6Hozu     
vi.(to)订阅,订购;同意;vt.捐助,赞助
参考例句:
  • I heartily subscribe to that sentiment.我十分赞同那个观点。
  • The magazine is trying to get more readers to subscribe.该杂志正大力发展新订户。
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TAG标签:   npr  公共电台  horror  hero  circus
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