× The Vanderbilt Television News Archive is currently closed to in-person research, but is still fulfilling loan requests. For the latest information about COVID-19 (coronavirus disease), visit vu.edu/coronavirus.
Search the Archive

Oil Tankers / Spill / Los Angeles Explosion #486703

NBC Evening News for Tuesday, Dec 21, 1976
View other clips in this broadcast →

Material supplied by VTNA may be used for educational analysis or research only. Any editing, reproduction, publication, rebroadcast, public showing or public display may be prohibited by copyright laws. For any such use, please visit NBC NEWS Archives XPRESS.

(Studio) Liberian oil tanker, "Argo Merchant," grounded in Atlantic Ocean off Cape Cod, Massachusetts, south of Nantucket, breaks up today creating largest oil spill in United States history; bigger than 1969 spill off Santa Barbara, California.
REPORTER: John Chancellor

(Boston, Massachusetts) Breakup of ship noted. Oil has already reached fishing grounds at Georges Bank. Cape Cod fishermen's lawsuit against Liberian co., Thebes Shipping, Incorporated, noted. Thebes has petitioned for limitation of liability; details noted. Coast Guard says it's impossible to contain oil or protect fishing grounds. [EPA director Russell TRAIN - says spill of this size is catastrophe whether it reaches land or not.] Nantucket resort area now in jeopardy, as well as Cape Cod area. Captain of tanker in Boston today with lawyers for Cape Cod fishermen to give his version of what happened.
REPORTER: Lee McCarthy (WJAR-TV film Providence, Rhode Island)

(Studio) Details with regard to previous mishaps and history of tanker noted. Liberian tankers have more accidents than any others. In Los Angeles harbor recently, Liberian tanker blew up causing death and controversy.
REPORTER: John Chancellor

(Los Angeles, California) Details of explosion noted. Comes in middle of controversy with regard to expansion of Los Angeles and Long Beach harbor facilities for meeting energy needs. Coast Guard inquiry noted. Proposals being discussed for handling Alaska oil and liquefied natural gas; opposition before and after explosion from environmentalists and homeowners noted. [Homeowners' spokesperson Greg SMITH - says storage tanks north of here ought to be moved.] Coast Guard commander here, Rear Admiral Robert Price says there's been overreaction. [PRICE - says needs for energy can't be thrown out on basis of this event.] Cause of explosion not of as great interest to people here as fact it could happen again in urban port area.
REPORTER: Don Oliver

Chancellor, John;
Oliver, Don

Note to sponsor members: The Vanderbilt Television News Archive video player requires a modern operating system and browser to work properly. If you are experiencing playback problems, check the minimum requirements and adjust your setup accordingly. After adjustments, if you continue to experience problems, please contact us.

Welcome! Above is the abstract of the item that you're interested in viewing from the Vanderbilt Television News Archive's collection. You have three options if you'd like to view this item:

  • You may request a loan of this video by registering on our website and placing an order.
  • You may visit the Television News Archive on the Vanderbilt campus to view on-site from the Archive's collection.
  • If you are associated with a college or university, you may ask your library if they would like to become a sponsor, which would give students and faculty at your institution the ability to view items from our collection.

If you believe that you are associated with a sponsoring college or university and have received this message in error, please let us know.