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A shorter and zippier treatment of precisely the same disaster explored in The Deadly Frost (p. 757); again it's a liquid natural gas carrier explosion at sea near Manhattan, and again there's a scene of revelers in the World Trade Center's Windows on the World restaurant reacting to the shock-waves. This time the Georgia Carrier is the doomed ship, experiencing a ""blowout"" some 90 miles from its docking in New York Harbor. The crew manages to cap the leak, but as the ship continues toward the harbor, a pumped-out supertanker now in ballast tries to sneak out of the harbor and accidentally rams the LNG carrier, ripping all five storage tanks like tinfoil and spreading a horrible white freezing vapor over the sea. Port Authority tugs attempt to close in on the ship and tow it out to sea, but all ships in the area are quickly lost in the cloud, killing everyone. Meanwhile, Vincent Ryder, a financial reporter for the Houston Chronicle, has flown in to get a human-interest scoop, and is clued in on the background to the disaster ahead by FLASH, a committee of citizens who plan to sail a regatta of ships into the bay and stop the docking of the carrier. But it's too late, as Vince finds out while dining with his beautiful publishing friend Amura--and the restaurant begins vibrating. Not much happens, people-wise, once the white vapor takes over Coney Island, Brooklyn, the Verrazano Narrows Bridge and begins drifting toward the financial district. Soon the Statue of Liberty has chilled to icy brittleness, then the firestorm begins, the Statue melts, and the Twin Towers are flaming candles, as is all of Manhattan up through Rockefeller Center. . . . Like The Deadly Frost, no human interest; but a quick, tight, and scary scenario for suggestible New Yorkers.

Pub Date: Sept. 24th, 1979
Publisher: Norton