Skip to comments.Why was the Texas fertiliser plant explosion so deadly?
Posted on 04/20/2013 6:59:56 AM PDT by Sir Napsalot
(snip) What makes ammonium nitrate explosive?
Ammonium nitrate, a common fertiliser additive, is a white crystalline solid at room temperature.
It is stable except when it is contaminated with organic (carbon-based) material.
In practice, it is commonly mixed with fuel oil to form an industrial explosive (called ammonium nitrate/fuel oil, or ANFO) and is widely used in the mining industry.
In the case of the explosion in West, something had to heat the ammonium nitrate in the fertiliser factory to a critical temperature of 300C for it to auto-ignite.
This would need to be either organic contaminants reacting with the ammonium nitrate or a completely separate fire that spread to the ammonium nitrate storage area.
Video evidence confirms a major high temperature fire was burning for some time before the detonation occurred.
At high temperatures, ammonium and nitrogen dioxide are formed when ammonium nitrate breaks down, and can react together to produce massive amounts of heat.
If the heat isnt dissipated and the reaction rate is allowed to escalate, the reaction will eventually cause detonation.
In West, it would appear all the damage done was caused by the pressure wave generated by the blast rather than toxic gases, though this has not yet been confirmed.
(Excerpt) Read more at theconversation.com ...
Texas city disaster. Something like 580 killed.
This is just stage III of the Obama administration trying to control: I.Guns II. Ammunition III. Explosives
Watch out as stage IV is to Control the People
Per the article: There have been a number of similar episodes such as the Texas City Disaster in 1947, where more than 570 people died after a cargo ship laden with ammonium nitrate exploded.
Bet that brought a few fish to the surface!!!
>>> Bet that brought a few fish to the surface!!!
Because explosions near where lots of people are tend to do that.
That is exactly what I was thinking......
Tossing dynamite into the lake to shock the fish, they float.
From Wiki: The Oppau explosion occurred on September 21, 1921 when a tower silo storing 4,500 tonnes of a mixture of ammonium sulfate and ammonium nitrate fertilizer exploded at a BASF plant in Oppau, now part of Ludwigshafen, Germany, killing 500600 people and injuring about 2,000 more.
This was an old lazy way of fishing - drop dynamite into the water and the concussion stuns the fish and makes them float to the surface. You scoop up the fish.
I read it was about 35 dead. Where did you get that number?
Course, with the whole Boston thing, everything else has taken a back seat.
I remember the Texas City explosions very well. I was an 11 year old 4th grade student in Beaumont, Texas at the time. I was in a classroom on the 3rd floor of our very old building. Our teacher was reading something to us at that moment. All of a sudden, the classroom windows started rattling. She looked up and said “rattle rattle rattle” and went back to reading.
Of course, we all learned later that day what caused our building to shake, though we were about 70 or 80 miles away.
Many years later, I was a student nurse at the John Sealy Hospital in Galveston. We had many patients still having plastic surgery done on their wounds from that explosion.....plastic surgery not being nearly as developed as it is today.
I remember the Texas City disaster, I was 7 and my parents lost several friends in the explosion. I have convinced myself that I heard and felt the explosion but maybe not. :)
Im by no means an expert in such matters, but I have to wonder why, when the plant was fully engulfed in flames by the time the local fire department got there, why they decided to battle the fire rather than focusing all their efforts on evacuating the area?
I also read something that said that spraying water on the fire might have actually contributed to the explosion. I get that firefighters will spay water on tanks to keep them cool and prevent an explosion but from what I understand the fire was already so hot and intense, that spraying water on it was rather futile as they couldnt even get close enough to spray water on the tanks holding the ammonium nitrate. There have been some questions raised as to the level of training in dealing with HAZMAT situations the members of the volunteer fire department had.
I also have to question the intelligence of people close to the fire, including the guy in the car with his daughter who was videoing it with his cell phone and others in the neighborhood who stayed around to watch the fire when the place went BOOM!
You would think that people living in that area might have been more aware that a fire at a fertilizer plant was not something to stand around and watch but something to get as far away from as quickly as possible.
My husband also said that spraying water on the fire contributed to the explosion.
More deaths in the Texas disaster. More traumatic injuries in the Texas disaster. But completely ignored by the media. It would be poetic justice if a terrorist group claimed responsibility. I’d love to see the media trying to explain why they completely ignored a disaster that was 100 times worse than the one that happened in Boston.
Just waiting for a big "ethanol" event.
My question is WHY would anyone build houses anywhere near a fertilizer factory to begin with?
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