It happened on November 12, 1970. The carcass of a California grey whale
* had been rotting on the beach just south of Florence
for several days. At the time, the Oregon Highway Division
(now called the Oregon Department of Transportation
) had jurisdiction over beaches and decided to dispose of the whale
the same way they would clear a large boulder
from a highway construction project. With dynamite
There is a video of the incident.
So they moved the spectators back up the beach, put a half-ton of dynamite next to the whale and set it off. The whale carcass disappears in a huge blast of smoke, flame, and blood. Then you hear the happy spectators shouting "Yay!" and "Whee!" Then, suddenly, the crowd's tone changes. You hear a new sound like "splud." You hear a woman's voice shouting "Here come pieces of...MY GOD!" Something smears the camera lens.
The reporter explains "The humor of the entire situation suddenly gave way to a run for survival as huge chunks of whale blubber fell everywhere."
Large chunks of of whale blubber flew to distances as great as a quarter mile, destroying cars and damaging homes.
A movie (various formats) can be found at: http://www.perp.com/whale/
*Thanks to Jizz for this correction