Naval explosive experts placed the charges they hoped would ignite the oil. They had to
work in a hurry because a stormpacking sixty-five mile an hour winds and twenty
five-foot swellswas approaching. When the plunger was pushed, the explosives ignited,
but the blast failed to penetrate the thick steel of the tanks. This first attempt to
ignite the oil failed.
Stronger explosives were flown to the site. The storm stalled off the coast. This
provided the naval experts the time to try it once more. This time the explosions
ripped into the tanks and the oil was set a blaze, and the ship became a towering
inferno of flames and black smoke. After five hours of burning the intense heat caused
the ship to break in two. The ship burned for three days sending up flames as high as
three hundred feet.
When the flames burned out, inspectors found 135,000 gallons of fuel left in the
bow section. The fire had burned over 200,000 gallons of fuel but what
was left still threatened to wreck the shore.
The failure to get rid of the oil by burning is like a bitter lesson that many
people must learn about themselves. Once a person becomes convinced that God hates
sins, the natural response of their heart is to try to balance out the evil that they
have done by doing good. However, in the course of time, if they are honest with
themselves, each one will make a startling discovery despite all their best efforts
they will find the black tendency in their hearts to do what is hateful in God's sight
just as strong as it ever was.