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Why was the Texas fertiliser plant explosion so deadly?
The Conversation ^ | 4-19-2013 | David Cliff

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 isn’t 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 ...


TOPICS: Science
KEYWORDS: ammoniumnitrate; texas
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Note: This article is written by a professor of Occupational Health and Safety in Mining at Univ of Queensland in Australia, later part of the article then went on a discussion of mining in Australia.
1 posted on 04/20/2013 6:59:56 AM PDT by Sir Napsalot
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To: Sir Napsalot

Texas city disaster. Something like 580 killed.


2 posted on 04/20/2013 7:04:23 AM PDT by cripplecreek (REMEMBER THE RIVER RAISIN!)
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To: Sir Napsalot
ANFO is much safer to handle and use vs. other explosives. When I was a open pit coal mine manager, we would routinely use 250 pounds of ANFO in each hole drilled in the dragline bench. 7 inch diameter holes were 50-60 feet deep, on a 10 foot by 10 foot pattern. 40 or 50 holes ignited via a blasting box would really move your mortgage !
3 posted on 04/20/2013 7:09:56 AM PDT by Eric in the Ozarks (NRA Life Member)
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To: Sir Napsalot

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


4 posted on 04/20/2013 7:10:35 AM PDT by tired&retired
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To: cripplecreek
The fire could be a cover for a terrorist bombing.
5 posted on 04/20/2013 7:12:25 AM PDT by mountainlion (Live well for those that did not make it back.)
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To: tired&retired

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!!!


6 posted on 04/20/2013 7:13:43 AM PDT by tired&retired
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To: tired&retired

>>> Bet that brought a few fish to the surface!!!

Huh?


7 posted on 04/20/2013 7:21:27 AM PDT by Sir Napsalot (Pravda + Useful Idiots = CCCP; JournOList + Useful Idiots = DopeyChangey!)
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To: Sir Napsalot

Because explosions near where lots of people are tend to do that.


8 posted on 04/20/2013 7:24:22 AM PDT by metmom (For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore & do not submit again to a yoke of slavery)
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To: mountainlion

That is exactly what I was thinking......


9 posted on 04/20/2013 7:25:09 AM PDT by metmom (For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore & do not submit again to a yoke of slavery)
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To: Sir Napsalot

Tossing dynamite into the lake to shock the fish, they float.


10 posted on 04/20/2013 7:26:10 AM PDT by ican'tbelieveit
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To: Sir Napsalot

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 500–600 people and injuring about 2,000 more.


They used to use small charges of dynamite to loosen up the pile when it got compacted...


11 posted on 04/20/2013 7:28:37 AM PDT by USMCPOP (Father of LCpl. Karl Linn, KIA 1/26/2005 Al Haqlaniyah, Iraq)
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To: Sir Napsalot

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.

It works.


12 posted on 04/20/2013 7:30:24 AM PDT by volunbeer (We must embrace austerity or austerity will embrace us)
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To: cripplecreek

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.


13 posted on 04/20/2013 7:31:45 AM PDT by metmom (For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore & do not submit again to a yoke of slavery)
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To: tired&retired

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.


14 posted on 04/20/2013 7:33:56 AM PDT by basil
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To: cripplecreek

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. :)


15 posted on 04/20/2013 7:38:01 AM PDT by Ditter
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To: Sir Napsalot

I’m 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 couldn’t 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.


16 posted on 04/20/2013 7:41:17 AM PDT by MD Expat in PA
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To: MD Expat in PA

My husband also said that spraying water on the fire contributed to the explosion.


17 posted on 04/20/2013 7:43:29 AM PDT by Ditter
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To: metmom

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.


18 posted on 04/20/2013 7:46:24 AM PDT by NKP_Vet
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To: MD Expat in PA
Same problem with Ethanol....burns with an intense but invisible flame....and needs special foam to put it out....

Just waiting for a big "ethanol" event.

19 posted on 04/20/2013 7:46:43 AM PDT by spokeshave (The only people better off today than 4 years ago are the Prisoners at Guantanamo.)
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To: Sir Napsalot

My question is WHY would anyone build houses anywhere near a fertilizer factory to begin with?


20 posted on 04/20/2013 7:48:24 AM PDT by TribalPrincess2U (0bama's agenda¬óDivide and conquer seems to be working.)
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To: TribalPrincess2U

Another question. Shouldn’t all firefighters KNOW how to put out this type of fire?


21 posted on 04/20/2013 7:50:29 AM PDT by TribalPrincess2U (0bama's agenda¬óDivide and conquer seems to be working.)
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To: mountainlion

Agreed.

If I don’t get my gun ‘control’, I’ll make you pay.

Who would say that? Who would DO something about that?

Who would need to ‘pay’?


22 posted on 04/20/2013 7:54:49 AM PDT by combat_boots (The Lion of Judah cometh. Hallelujah. Gloria Patri, Filio et Spiritui Sancto!)
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To: Sir Napsalot

There was a precedent for this huge explosion, which also took place in Texas, when a freighter in the harbor on Galveston Channel. The Texas City disaster of April 16, 1947 is the deadliest industrial accident in U.S. history, and one of the largest non-nuclear explosions. Originating with a mid-morning fire on board the French-registered vessel SS Grandcamp (docked in the Port of Texas City), its cargo of approximately 2,300 tons of ammonium nitrate detonated, killing at least 581 people and setting off a chain of explosions and fires that spread to other ships and the oil storage facility there.


23 posted on 04/20/2013 7:55:39 AM PDT by alloysteel (Every generation laughs at the old fashions, but follows religiously the new.)
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When is 0bama going to go to Texas to ‘stand’ with those people and eulogize the dead?


24 posted on 04/20/2013 7:56:23 AM PDT by combat_boots (The Lion of Judah cometh. Hallelujah. Gloria Patri, Filio et Spiritui Sancto!)
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To: Ditter
Talked to firefighters about this and they said letting it burn itself out and evacuate was the best course in this case. The company didn't have the proper systems or warnings for the quantities they produced. Correct reporting would have cost the company plenty of money to comply with the regs. This wasn't an oversight or paperwork errors. My firefighter friends say that the company was trying to get away with something and some will end up going to jail because of it.
25 posted on 04/20/2013 7:56:49 AM PDT by Hillarys Gate Cult (Liberals make unrealistic demands on reality and reality doesn't oblige them.)
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To: metmom

An earlier fertilizer ship explosion at the Port of Texas City in 1947.


26 posted on 04/20/2013 8:00:45 AM PDT by Sir Napsalot (Pravda + Useful Idiots = CCCP; JournOList + Useful Idiots = DopeyChangey!)
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To: metmom

Understandably! That was awful. At least Boston came out looking great as a city. The Mayor should run for Governor. I don’t know his politics but he was incredible during this. Almost as good as Rudy during 9/11!


27 posted on 04/20/2013 8:08:05 AM PDT by napscoordinator (Santorum-Bachmann 2016 for the future of the Country!)
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To: Hillarys Gate Cult

Hubby is a retired firefighter, 33 years. He said there are certain fires that you just back off and let go. There is nothing you can do about them and will get killed or die trying. Fertilizer is one of them.


28 posted on 04/20/2013 8:08:43 AM PDT by sheana
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To: MD Expat in PA; Ditter
Part of the article not excerpted explained how to fight ammonium nitrate fire.

An ammonium nitrate fire is difficult to fight.

Fire retardants that focus on excluding oxygen have no effect as the nitrate part of the molecule, which consists of one nitrogen and three oxygen atoms, provides all the necessary oxygen.

The only effective control is to remove the heat, which causes the explosive reaction, by flooding the area with water.

But it’s unknown if the firefighters who responded to the initial fire were even able to commence a water flood before the explosion, which happened minutes after they arrived.

Fire fighting is further complicated by the presence of other hazardous chemicals used to make the fertiliser, principally anhydrous ammonia (liquefied ammonia gas) and nitric acid.

The firefighters on the scene quickly assessed that they could not put out the fire, they then immediately switched to warning and evacuating nearby residents.

29 posted on 04/20/2013 8:12:48 AM PDT by Sir Napsalot (Pravda + Useful Idiots = CCCP; JournOList + Useful Idiots = DopeyChangey!)
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To: TribalPrincess2U
The plant site was chosen probably because it was a sparsely populated area.

And there were safety precautions built in for the plant, of course, now we might hear some violation (OSHA and others could always find something afterwards).

And people lose vigilance and build housing around it for convenience, that's my guess. But we need to know how the fire started in the first place, and why it got out of control so fast.

30 posted on 04/20/2013 8:18:55 AM PDT by Sir Napsalot (Pravda + Useful Idiots = CCCP; JournOList + Useful Idiots = DopeyChangey!)
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To: Eric in the Ozarks

Fifty years go I was working with a road construction crew. At the gravel pit I noticed empty sacks of ammonium nitrate fertilizer and asked about it.

They told me they would drill the holes deep, place one stick of dynamite in the bottom, then fill the hole with the fertilizer.

That was the first time I learned about the explosive properties of fertilizer.


31 posted on 04/20/2013 8:22:51 AM PDT by Ruy Dias de Bivar (Do we now register our pressure cookers?)
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To: Ditter
My husband also said that spraying water on the fire contributed to the explosion.

There is a common joke that firefighters, brave as they are, probably get paid by the gallon due to the massive amount of water they apply to evfery situation. Sometimes they create bigger environmental problems and sometimes they cause things to get catastrophically worse.

32 posted on 04/20/2013 8:25:42 AM PDT by umgud (2A can't survive dem majorities)
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To: cripplecreek
About Texas City Explosions:

There is a community college in Texas City and I worked there as a counselor for the handicapped in about 1986-1989.

The college is not far from Interstate Hwy. 45, the highway from Galveston north. Texas City is not far north of Galveston to give you an idea where it is.

There is a plan to follow when there is an explosion at a plant there. One day at the college, we heard a blast. For the college, the plan was - LEAVE RIGHT THEN. I went to my car and headed north to home.

A blast meant for the people in Texas City to immediately shelter in place and close doors and windows, then wait for further instructions.

My point is, explosions happen there. That complex of chemical plants, offloading dangerous chemicals from ships coming in there, oil coming in by ship, oil refinery plants, etc., is going to create explosions no matter how careful the workers are.

My stepson worked there and was Hazmat trained, so he would head for the explosion rather than flee like the rest of the workers. There are many different companies that have plants there. Every Hazmat worker for any company there would respond to a blast anywhere in that complex no matter which company.

I would never live in Texas City.

33 posted on 04/20/2013 8:28:56 AM PDT by Marcella (Prepping can save your life today. Going Galt is freedom.)
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To: Sir Napsalot
CNN Describes Watertown: 'It's As Though A Bomb Had Dropped'

Talk about obliviousness from these 'reporters'.

Some one better check if CNN describe West, TX fertilizer plant explosion "as though a bomb had dropped". That would be more apt description.

34 posted on 04/20/2013 8:38:04 AM PDT by Sir Napsalot (Pravda + Useful Idiots = CCCP; JournOList + Useful Idiots = DopeyChangey!)
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To: Marcella

My son was a fireman in Texas City for 17 years, although he didn’t live there.

He said there are all sorts of cross-agreements between the fire dept. and the fire teams at each plant. When there is a major fire, many different companies will respond.


35 posted on 04/20/2013 8:39:08 AM PDT by chaosagent (Remember, no matter how you slice it, forbidden fruit still tastes the sweetest!)
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To: metmom

Texas city explosion in 1947.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Texas_City_Disaster

2300 tons of ammonium nitrate, diesel fuel, and munitions all in close proximity created one of the largest non nuclear explosions of all time.


36 posted on 04/20/2013 8:58:17 AM PDT by cripplecreek (REMEMBER THE RIVER RAISIN!)
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To: napscoordinator
The Mayor should run for Governor

On Hannity this morning, he couldn't answer a single correction without blathering and going off on some tangent. Hannity kept re-asking simple questions and ended up interupting him on about half a dozen and answering them himself. It was embarrassing.

37 posted on 04/20/2013 9:00:53 AM PDT by bgill
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To: Sir Napsalot
Sooo....??

This disaster is the dry-chemical version of a BLEVE??
(Boiling Liquid Expansion Vaporization Explosion)

Why don't these fertilizer manufactuers use several smaller underground tanks in bunkers for storage....
...like an ammunition depot??

***********

With the right plumbing and fail-safe (underground) material transport systems...
If a single bunker/tank was compromised by fire-- the remaining storage could be quickly isolated from the others.

Any resulting breach or explosion would be smaller and more manageable than this 2.5 earthquake that killed too many and devastated West, TX.

38 posted on 04/20/2013 9:02:45 AM PDT by Wings-n-Wind (The main things are the plain things!)
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To: TribalPrincess2U

I pointed this out several times when this first occurred and some were upset. There are legitimate roles for government and this story illustrates that perfectly.

This was a massive failure of proper zoning and regulatory oversight. Period.

I am heartbroken for the firefighters and first responders who rushed to this scene because someone should have known better.

Ammonium Nitrate in any form is not just a great fertilizer, it is an explosive. I think I read that this company generated 2 million dollars in revenue a year. In hindsight, how much cheaper it would have been to move this company far out of town to a safer location with an adequate buffer around the storage? I read the nursing home (133 occupants?) was only 500 feet from ground zero. That is insane. The safety distance for a first responder for a single truck of Ammonium Nitrate is three or more times that distance if it’s on fire on the roadway.

I hope some good comes out of this and other towns and cities will examine what happened with an eye towards preventing a similar disaster in the future. Prayers for this community and those affected.


39 posted on 04/20/2013 9:10:09 AM PDT by volunbeer (We must embrace austerity or austerity will embrace us)
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To: Ditter

Fire fighters will sometimes use the spray from their wide area nozzle setting to make a barrier against the heat behind which they can approach the fire.


40 posted on 04/20/2013 9:13:16 AM PDT by Yollopoliuhqui
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To: tired&retired; Sir Napsalot
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.

My father heard and felt that explosion in his high school in Houston.

41 posted on 04/20/2013 9:16:02 AM PDT by Paleo Conservative (Just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they're not really out to get you.)
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To: napscoordinator
Mayor Tom Menino is a ultra liberal. Normally you can not understand him when he speaks. He is known for his speech faux pas’. He makes Joe Biden look like Einstein when he speaks. He is also the moron who banned Chik Fil a from opening a store in Boston
42 posted on 04/20/2013 9:52:08 AM PDT by pietraynor (Government does not solve problems; it subsidizes them. Ronald Reagan)
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To: Sir Napsalot
Must be something "in the water" regarding big explosions and French ships ...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Halifax_Explosion
The Halifax Explosion occurred on the morning of Thursday, December 6, 1917. SS Mont-Blanc, a French cargo ship fully laden with wartime explosives, collided with the Norwegian vessel SS Imo[2] in the Narrows, a strait connecting the upper Halifax Harbour to Bedford Basin. Approximately twenty minutes later, a fire on board the French ship ignited her volatile cargo, causing a cataclysmic explosion that devastated the Richmond District of Halifax. Approximately 2,000 people were killed by debris, fires, and collapsed buildings, and it is estimated that nearly 9,000 others were injured.[3] The blast was the largest man-made explosion prior to the development of nuclear weapons[4] with an equivalent force of roughly 2.9 kilotons of Trinitrotoluene (TNT).

My paternal great-grandfather was a fire chief in Calais, ME. He answered the call for disaster relief and went to Halifax.

43 posted on 04/20/2013 10:06:41 AM PDT by MacNaughton
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To: MD Expat in PA
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?

It's not the job of the fire department to evacuate folks. THAT'S the job of the police or emergency folks in the area. why THEY didn't do it is unclear; maybe they didn't realize the possibility of such an enormous explosion.

Maybe that father who was filming thought he was at a 'safe distance', not understanding the nature of what exactly was on fire. Stupid, in retrospect, but as they say, hindsight is always 20/20.

44 posted on 04/20/2013 10:44:17 AM PDT by SuziQ
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To: napscoordinator
At least Boston came out looking great as a city. The Mayor should run for Governor. I don’t know his politics but he was incredible during this. Almost as good as Rudy during 9/11!

Oh, good grief, NO!! Mumbles Menino has been awful as Mayor. I shudder to think of him as Governor!

I don't think he had much control over much of what happened with the takedown of the two terrorist wanna-be brothers. That was done by the Boston PD, and the police departments of neighboring towns, and the FBI, over which Menino had no control.

45 posted on 04/20/2013 10:52:33 AM PDT by SuziQ
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To: cripplecreek

OK. I never knew about that one.

I thought you were referring to this last one and I didn’t recall hearing numbers like that.


46 posted on 04/20/2013 10:53:55 AM PDT by metmom (For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore & do not submit again to a yoke of slavery)
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To: Sir Napsalot

From the “Emergency Response Guide” (this little D.O.T orange book is on nearly every piece of fire and EMS apparatus in the country:

ERG GUIDE 140 - OXIDIZERS

POTENTIAL HAZARDS

FIRE OR EXPLOSION
- These substances will accelerate burning when involved in a fire.
- Some may decompose explosively when heated or involved in a fire.
- May explode from heat or contamination.
- Some will react explosively with hydrocarbons (fuels).
- May ignite combustibles (wood, paper, oil, clothing, etc.).
- Containers may explode when heated.
- Runoff may create fire or explosion hazard.

HEALTH
- Inhalation, ingestion or contact (skin, eyes) with vapors or substance may cause severe injury, burns or death.
- Fire may produce irritating, corrosive and/or toxic gases.
- Runoff from fire control or dilution water may cause pollution.

PUBLIC SAFETY

CALL Emergency Response Telephone Number on Shipping Paper first. If Shipping Paper not available or no answer, refer to appropriate telephone number listed on the inside back cover.
- As an immediate precautionary measure, isolate spill or leak area in all directions for at least 50 meters (150 feet) for liquids and at least 25 meters (75 feet) for solids.
- Keep unauthorized personnel away.
- Stay upwind.
- Keep out of low areas.
- Ventilate closed spaces before entering.

PROTECTIVE CLOTHING
- Wear positive pressure self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA).
- Wear chemical protective clothing that is specifically recommended by the manufacturer. It may provide little or no thermal protection.
- Structural firefighters’ protective clothing will only provide limited protection.

EVACUATION

Large Spill
- Consider initial downwind evacuation for at least 100 meters (330 feet).

Fire
- If tank, rail car or tank truck is involved in a fire, ISOLATE for 800 meters (1/2 mile) in all directions; also, consider initial evacuation for 800 meters (1/2 mile) in all directions.

EMERGENCY RESPONSE

FIRE

Small Fire
- Use water.  Do not use dry chemicals or foams.  CO2 or Halon? may provide limited control.

Large Fire
- Flood fire area with water from a distance.

- Do not move cargo or vehicle if cargo has been exposed to heat.
- Move containers from fire area if you can do it without risk.

Fire involving Tanks or Car/Trailer Loads
- Fight fire from maximum distance or use unmanned hose holders or monitor nozzles.
- Cool containers with flooding quantities of water until well after fire is out.
- ALWAYS stay away from tanks engulfed in fire.
- For massive fire, use unmanned hose holders or monitor nozzles; if this is impossible, withdraw from area and let fire burn.

SPILL OR LEAK
- Keep combustibles (wood, paper, oil, etc.) away from spilled material.
- Do not touch damaged containers or spilled material unless wearing appropriate protective clothing.
- Stop leak if you can do it without risk.
- Do not get water inside containers.

Small Dry Spill
- With clean shovel place material into clean, dry container and cover loosely; move containers from spill area.

Small Liquid Spill
- Use a non-combustible material like vermiculite or sand to soak up the product and place into a container for later disposal.

Large Spill
- Dike far ahead of liquid spill for later disposal.

- Following product recovery, flush area with water.

FIRST AID
- Move victim to fresh air.
- Call 911 or emergency medical service.
- Give artificial respiration if victim is not breathing.
- Administer oxygen if breathing is difficult.
- Remove and isolate contaminated clothing and shoes.
- Contaminated clothing may be a fire risk when dry.
- In case of contact with substance, immediately flush skin or eyes with running water for at least 20 minutes.
- Keep victim warm and quiet.
- Ensure that medical personnel are aware of the material(s) involved and take precautions to protect


47 posted on 04/20/2013 10:55:54 AM PDT by Species8472 (Stupid is supposed to hurt)
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To: MD Expat in PA

I’m 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?

*************

Good question but timelines indicate that things happened rapidly so who knows what actually happened at what time.

For what it’s worth:

Fire at 7:30 pm
Explosion at 7:53 pm

http://www.nbcdfw.com/news/local/Explosion-Rocks-Fertilizer-Plant-During-Fire-203508011.html

Volunteer firemen from the West Fire Department initially responded to a fire at 7:30 p.m. at West Fertilizer Company. Six volunteer firemen responded to the fire, recognized the potential for an explosion and began evacuating nearby homes and businesses, Waco police Sgt. William Patrick Swanton said.

At about 7:53 p.m., the explosion ripped through the plant.

Time line of events:

http://www.elpasotimes.com/newupdated/ci_23053787/west-texas-fertilizer-plant-explosion-timeline-events


48 posted on 04/20/2013 10:58:47 AM PDT by deport
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To: mountainlion
I wondered aobut it also.

This story needs more coverage.

49 posted on 04/20/2013 11:06:57 AM PDT by apocalypto
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To: combat_boots

I hope some reporter will ask him about it.


50 posted on 04/20/2013 11:09:14 AM PDT by apocalypto
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