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In the News: Lebonon, The Rest of The Story

  1. Thiokol-Woodbine had a fairly big one back in '71.


    The first hint we got in the newsroom was a crackling from the Times-Union’s new-fangled police radio monitor.

    The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office police dispatcher was sending patrol officers to help clear the parking lot at Duval Medical Center. That was a former name of what is today Shands Jacksonville hospital.

    Navy helicopters had to land on the parking lot to pick up doctors, the dispatcher said, and fly them to Woodbine, Ga.

    I called the dispatcher and asked why. The dispatcher said that a rocket plant had exploded, and there were multiple casualties.

    At 10:53 a.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 3, 1971, there was a devastating blast that leveled a magnesium flare assembly building at the Thiokol Chemical Corp.’s Woodbine plant. The immediate toll was 24 lives lost. Some of the victims were dismembered, which accounted for an erroneous first count of 35 dead at the scene. Another five would die of their injuries in the coming days. More than 50 workers were injured, some losing limbs. Many spent many months hospitalized.

    A security guard at the plant gate, about 2 miles from the blast site, said, “It was like an atomic bomb.”

    The munitions plant, constructed in 1964, was filling contracts for three Army agencies - the Picatinny Arsenal in Dover, N.J., the Edgewood Arsenal in Maryland and the Army Ammunition Procurement Agency at Joliet, Ill., when the blast occurred. The Army immediately sent in teams of investigators to determine the cause of the blast. Georgia Lt. Gov. Lester Maddox flew to the site that night to inspect the devastation where Building M-132 was leveled, three other buildings were heavily damaged and seven received minor damage.
  2. I have been around shots in mining. Anfo takes a cap and booster to light off. I don’t know what the booster is. I have been around all types of shots and fracking in the oil field. Wells are still shot today but now it’s gel, aka dynamite. The cloud from that gives you the zoomies. The orange cloud from anfo will kill you. It is the hydrogen bonds in the ammonium that make it reactive.
  3. Nitrogen tends to bond weakly with other elements. It just wants to be “free.”

    There can be a significant energy release when nitrogen attains that “freedom.”
  4. The orange cloud is nitrogen oxides. The Titan II oxidizer was nitrogen tetroxide, N2O4, particularly nasty stuff when it got out. This cloud killed two people underground.


    Breathing it basically forms nitric acid in your lungs.

  5. The Titan II engines basically ran on this stuff, but N2O4 instead of NO2. Start at about 3:00.

    View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IcjYdEW_HLQ
  6. Chlorine trifluoride was tried as an oxidizer. It worked. Problem is, it worked too well. Set fire to pretty much everything, even asbestos. Hypergolic with all known fuels. Even water could be used as a rocket fuel.

    John D. Clark wrote the book “Ignition!” which details NASA research on rocket fuels. It’s on the Science Madness forum as a PDF.

    You’d really enjoy it. Fascinating read.
  7. I'll give it a read, but ClF3; two of the nastiest things around.

    No thanks.

    IIRC, from my HazMat days, it ignites LIVING TISSUE.

  8. That usually happens every couple of years anyway.
  9. This is not entirely correct fire conditions especially those involving fireworks can start AN to degrade causing it to release oxygen making the fire rage and the AN degrade and the result is an explosion.
    At high enough temperatures, however, ammonium nitrate can violently decompose on its own. This process creates gases including nitrogen oxides and water vapour. It is this rapid release of gases that causes an explosion.
  10. Were they martyrs?
  11. Normies are everywhere. They can be found in all levels of management. Their lack of competence is epic.
  12. Last year we had a condominium unit blow up close to us. I figured someone worked on the boiler...........scares the crap out of me, some jobs require competence.
  13. I saw what I thought were several magnesium flashes before the detonation.

    Part of my training consisted of cratering charges using ANFO and we always used a kicker charge to set it off. Usually TNT but C4 or even a uli knot of det cord could get it done.
  14. Not buying the big whoops explanation. Just not buying it. My gut tells me there is more to the story.
  15. It’s kissing cousin, bromine trifluoride, will set snow on fire. Also hazmat suits. It’s a liquid at room temperature. Not as reactive as chlorine trifluoride. Chlorine trifluoride oxide is another nightmare.

    The worst one of all is dioxygen difluoride. Goes by the acronym “FOOF.”
  16. It’s my understanding that the detonation was estimated to be at 3 kilotons. Can anyone confirm this?
  17. that is close estimates are 1.1kt to 3 kt I will find the list of largest non nuclear explosions and this was #6
  18. Texas City disaster Texas City, Texas 16 April 1947 Ammonium Nitrate 2.7–3.2 kt of TNT (11–13 TJ) 2.95 kt of TNT (>12 TJ)

    Halifax Explosion Halifax, Nova Scotia 6 December 1917 High Explosives 2.9 kt of TNT (<12 TJ) 2.9 kt of TNT (<12 TJ)

    RAF Fauld Explosion Staffordshire, UK 27 November 1944 Military Munitions 2 kt of TNT (8 TJ) 2 kt of TNT (8 TJ)

    Port Chicago disaster Port Chicago, California 17 July 1944 Military Munitions 1.6–2.2 kt of TNT (7–9 TJ) 1.9 kt of TNT (8 TJ)

    Oppau explosion Oppau, Ludwigshafen, Germany 21 September 1921 Ammonium Sulfate and
    Ammonium Nitrate
    1–2 kt of TNT (4–8 TJ) 1.5 kt of TNT (6 TJ)

    Port Beirut disaster Beirut, Lebanon 4 August 2020 Ammonium Nitrate 1–1.5 kt of TNT - Upper Limit (4–6 TJ)[101] 1.25 kt of TNT (5 TJ)
  19. So what are the odds that the stuff wasnt removed or disposed of properly cause someone was making decent cash selling it to people who like to blow stuff up??? Isn’t Lebanon Hezbollah country???

  20. Clearly they weren't selling it fast enough..
  21. Leave it to Beirut to make the top ten list.
  22. Condition of the AN storage before the explosion......unbelievable.

    AN storage.jpg
  23. I told them they have 6 hrs to dispose of that or no Billion Dollars. By golly, they disposed of it!

  24. Convenient that the photo shows up, even before the dust settled, of the AN warehouse, door open showing the label on the bags...almost like it was planned that way.
  25. It ( larges caches of AN exploding under fire conditions ) happens a lot. No surprise to me that some 2700 tons of nasties sitting in a warehouse for 5 years finally ran across something it didn't like.
  26. IDK, The ship’s captain said the load was 2,750 tons. “ Experts “ have agreed that much would have given the explosion seen in the video and monitored on seismic equipment.

    May have just been a case of stupid.

  27. Wow. Those guys are crazy leaving their reflective belts on the ground like that. Someone is going to need do do a new PowerPoint.
  28. Sure, because it could not possibly be due to stupidity.
  29. Clearly you did not get the memo with talking points of a conspiracy. Shame on you- keep a closer watch on your fax LOL.
  30. This shows just how inept and backwards that area is. Firefighters were actively working that up close.Im sure they all died, any somewhat civilized area would have had those data sheets out and been evacuating the area immediately. Firemen tht a have training don't mess around when it comes to oxidizers near active fires .

    Sent from my SM-G975U using Tapatalk
  31. This was only 2 tons, Just for reference, just imagine what it was like being within a mile of 2700 tons..... 5F3DA35E-E328-43F4-98A6-5254AFBE07CA.jpeg
  32. +1

    The DOT HazMat Guide for AN says consider evacuating a half mile for a fire involved cargo of a truckload - about 40,000 pounds or 20 tons.
  33. What most people living in 1st world countries don't understand is that in most countries, there aren't really any standards, and if there are any, there isn't really any enforcement, and if there is enforcement, they probably don't even know what they are doing in the first place, or just lazy so they don't do their jobs but just in case they do, slip them a $100 bill to go look the other way. Thats why places like Beruit are the way they are.

  34. Well, to a point; the US was like that in the 60's.

    A company I used to work for was involved in an trucking accident that killed six people ( including three firefighters ) back before the days of DOT placarding. In fact, the accident was one of the reasons for the DOT placarding requirements.

    The company made dynamite and other blasting agents. In short, a truckload of dynamite caught fire while the driver was away seeking help for blown tires. The local FD responded to reports of the fire and the load exploded while they were fighting the fire. There was no information on the truck that it was carrying dynamite.


    " Only twisted wreckage remained of the three fire engines. Nothing was left of the truck carrying the explosives except some metal slivers. Damage reportedly was expected to run close to half a million dollars, including a demolished school valued at $286,000. "
  35. Well at least the stuff hadn't gone bad from being next to all that sea water
  36. LOL...

    If no photo exists....proof of a conspiracy
    If a photo exists.....proof of a conspiracy
  37. When a narrative is being created, it’s interesting to look at the instantaneous “evidence” presented.
  38. LOL...."a narrative".

    A silo full of fertilizer caught on fire and did what it does. Someone had a photo of that silo. Nothing strange about that.
  39. The 1947 Texas City disaster killed over 500 people. They thought it was a grain ship fire, so a bunch of school kids came to the dock to see the fire; a really sad day.

    I lived in Washington, DC when the Mathinson Chemical Company blew up (around 1955) at night, in 15 degree weather. We lived about 8 blocks away. The explosions were like roman candles going off in the air. Like a stupid ass I went down to watch. Now realize what a dumb move. Luckily, no major explosion, just a lot of small stuff. No way I ever considered joining the fire dept. after that.
  40. The former owner of the MV Rhosus questioned in Cyprus.


    " The 43-year-old is based in Limassol, Cyprus, according to multiple reports in local media there. The island state is a common haunt for wealthy Russians. "

    " Cyprus police spokesperson Christos Andreou told MailOnline that the interview lasted several hours. "He is not facing any charges, nor is it likely that he will," he said. "

    BTW, nice ride ( the M/C not the boat ).
  41. Houston, we may have a problem.


    "Dr Babrauskas said: “There have been 70 major incidents in 100 years. They were all down to fires and poor storage. The solution is simple: store it in non-combustible buildings, and ensure there is nothing else in the storage area.”

    " In the aftermath of the Beirut catastrophe, Australians were first to voice fears they might be next. Up to 12,000 tonnes of the chemical are stored at the explosives giant Orica's Kooragang plant in Newcastle, New South Wales.

    Explosives expert Tony Richards told the Sydney Morning Herald that there was enough ammonium nitrate stored at the plant to obliterate Newcastle.“If that went off, people in Sydney [more than 160km away] would say ‘what the hell was that?’ And the answer would be: it used to be Newcastle,” he said. "
  42. Well, this pretty much explains it for me.



    " Dozens of bags of fireworks were stored in the same hangar as thousands of tonnes of ammonium nitrate at Beirut’s port and may have been a decisive factor in igniting the explosive chemical compound that fuelled Tuesday’s huge explosion, a former port worker and other sources have told the Guardian."

    " As the person on the silo roof films the north end of the warehouse from their vantage point, the smoke thickens and then a dozen or so white flashes can be seen occurring in rapid succession inside, triggering thicker red flames that quickly spread southwards before detonating a major explosion in the building within seconds that causes the person filming to duck for cover.

    Shehadi said he had spoken to former colleagues at the port who said workers were attempting to fix a gate outside warehouse 12 with an electrical tool ahead of the blast. “This was at 5pm, and after 30 minutes they saw smoke. Firefighters came, and so did state security. Everyone died.” "
  43. That was anfo , which is much more powerful than AN , I have never seen A 2700 ton ANFO shot .2700 tons of ANFO would have leveled that building still standing at the port.

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  44. I was just about to post referring to Hanlon's Razor, but I have invoked it on GT in so many threads I am sounding like a broken record.

    (For you younguns, that reference means I repeat myself in a rather annoying manner.)
  45. Everyone's against intrusive government regulations, till someone stores a couple thousand tons of explosives next to fireworks in a flammable building with no sprinklers and people welding nearby, and levels half your city.
  46. Yeah, it just depends on whose ox is getting gored.
  47. FB_IMG_1596983995810.jpg
  48. I'm surprised that building is still standing at all. Of course, it will have to be demolished, anyway, because it's so heavily damaged.