Illustrated Daily, July 27, 1996

Sports Illustrated Daily Feature Story

Explosion Kills Two; Many Hurt

Click here for the latest Sports Ticker roundup on the explosion in Atlanta.

Two people were killed and at least 65 others were injured by an explosion during a musical performance in Centennial Olympic Park at about 1:20 this morning. The blast, which the FBI confirmed was caused by an explosive device, occurred near a five-story tower that houses sound, video and light equipment for a concert stage located a few hundred yards from the corner of Techwood Drive and Baker Street.

AP View

This is a view of the Centennial Olympic Park in downtown Atlanta, Saturday, July 27, 1996, moments after an explosion disrupted a concert.

photograph by
Clive Brooks/AP

According to Andrew Kastner, a member of the band Jack Mack and the Heart Attacks, which was on stage at the time, a sound engineer spotted a suspicious paper bag in front of the tower, looked inside and alerted a nearby police officer. The police immediately began clearing the tower, which has a spectator viewing area on the second level.


Aerial view of ambulances taking victims of Friday night's explosion in Centennial Park.

photograph by
John Iacono

Moments later an explosion, which could be felt several blocks away, knocked down hundreds of revelers and sent shrapnel flying into the crowd. "We were across the street, like a hundred feet away, and you could feel the winds come across," said Greg Addison of Atlanta. "There was a girl with blood on her chest. I ran up to the stage, and the corner of the stage was blown to pieces."

Ambulance and Paramedics

View of Centennial Park, including AT&T Village, showing ambulances and paramedics.

photograph by
John Iacono

"We saw a man who had blood all over his face," said Ed Deckert, who was in the park with his wife, Meg. "We were trying to help a man who looked like he had a spike of metal coming out of his stomach."

"This huge puff of smoke came up, and three people were on the ground in this pool of blood," said Terry Tyson of Atlanta. "Then everybody started pushing us."

View from the top of the Comfort Inn in downtown Atlanta

View from the top of the Comfort Inn in downtown Atlanta showing barricades on the corner of Williams and International after the explosion.

photograph by
David E. Klutho

"I heard this boom, and I thought it might be fireworks like at the stadium," said Patrick Hizel of Fayetteville, Ark., who had his back to the stage. "Then I turned around and this guy had blood on his face. And everyone started running and everyone started pushing."

Shortly after the blast emergency vehicles began racing to the park, and two hours later they were still streaming into downtown Atlanta from surrounding communities.

SI Olympic Dailies
Day: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18


Olympic Daily Photo
Galleries Features from SI Olympic
Commemorative CNN/SI