In the News: Lebonon, The Rest of The Story

Discussion in 'The Okie Corral' started by Borg Warner, Aug 6, 2020.

  1. Borg Warner

    Borg Warner

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    I picked up a copy of the Wall Street Journal today, and here's what I found out:

    The explosion was caused by a fire in a building where 2750 TONS of Ammonium Nitrate was being stored that had been unloaded off of a ship that was in distress and was unseaworthy four or five years ago and the Lebanese government was supposed to dispose of it but never got around to it.

    The government of Lebanon is now on the verge of collapse.
     
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2020
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  2. cbetts1

    cbetts1

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    Radical Muslims tend to do that.
     

  3. Dave514

    Dave514

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  4. voyager4520

    voyager4520

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    Maybe they were keeping it there to protect nearby weapons storage. If somebody like Israel struck the weapons there'd be too much chance of the fertilizer going off and devestating a civilian populated area.
     
  5. NMG26

    NMG26

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    Damn. Incompetence is a killer in today's industrial world
     
  6. Borg Warner

    Borg Warner

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  7. catman71

    catman71 Spewer of TROOF

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    is that a lot, as far as explosives go?
     
  8. NMG26

    NMG26

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    "I will not rest until we find the person responsible for what happened, to hold him accountable and impose the most severe penalties,” Lebanese Prime Minister Hassan Diab said

    Should be looking at himself
     
  9. evlbruce

    evlbruce

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  10. M2 Carbine

    M2 Carbine

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    This morning I was looking at some video of that explosion.

    I can't remember seeing anything like that short of a A Bomb.
     
  11. Haldor

    Haldor Formerly retired EE.

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    It is over a kiloton. That was a heck of a K!Boom.
     
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  12. willie_pete

    willie_pete NRA Life Member

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    The Texas City disaster was thought to be about 2,300 tons of ammonium nitrate.

    Oklahoma City was about 2 tons.
     
  13. Dave514

    Dave514

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    Based on the video, it's enough.
     
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  14. Schrag4

    Schrag4

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    On the order of 1000x as much as the OKC bombing so I’m going with yes.

    I heard it was stored in cloth sacks. Don’t know if that’s true. Is a fire enough to touch it off? Seems like you’d want a better way to store it.
     
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  15. willie_pete

    willie_pete NRA Life Member

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  16. Geko45

    Geko45 Smartass Pilot CLM

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    Thing about ammonium nitrate is that it's a tertiary explosive. A primary explosive is something like blasting caps or primers. Something that goes off easy when impacted or otherwise triggered. Secondary explosives are things like gun powder or TNT. They are certainly explosive, but won't detonate unless triggered by a primary explosive first. And then, of course, ammonium nitrate being a tertiary explosive needs something like TNT going off in the middle of it before it will detonate. There were, apparently, fireworks going off in the fire before the big boom. I guess some of those must have been tossed into the ammonium nitrate storage thus providing the necessary "boost" to set it off.
     
  17. willie_pete

    willie_pete NRA Life Member

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    The photos I have seen seem to show a plastic weave bag enclosed in a big plastic bag as a vapor barrier. The material will absorb water so the need for the outer bag.

    I was the PM at a plant in Ohio that made liquid and dry aluminum sulfate; a common water treating chemical. We used bags like that to ship the dry powder. It is also hygroscopic
     
  18. Schrag4

    Schrag4

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    So it probably wasn’t cloth sacks.

    And fire alone won’t set it off.

    Thanks for the info!
     
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  19. willie_pete

    willie_pete NRA Life Member

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    Fire alone WILL set it off. IIRC all of recent AN explosions of straight AN - not ANFO - have been under extreme fire conditions; Texas City, Bryan, TX, West, TX, etc.

    It is shipped as a 5.1 Hazard Class.

    5,1.png


    And the DOT Guide for AN saying isolate for .5 miles if cargo under fire.

    5.1guide.PNG
     
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2020
  20. Borg Warner

    Borg Warner

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    And anything with a lot of nitrogen is a good fertilizer. Smokeless powder is actually a good fertilizer which is why a good way of disposing of discarded, pulled, or mixed powder is to spread it around you garden.
     
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