JoNova

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Unthreaded Explosions

An open thread, with remarkable footage and terrible state of affairs in Lebanon. Pray for the people of Beirut.

Apparently someone didn’t think much about storing 2,750 tons of ammonium nitrate fertilizer in one spot in a city for six long ticking years. Two tons of the same was used to kill 168 people in the Oklahoma terrorist bombing. In this case, the worst “terrorist” appears to be bureaucratic negligence. Lebanon is in a dire state, with hyperinflation ruining life savings, and coronavirus accelerating.

Chatter suggests the explosion was set off by workers welding the doors to stop thieves?

Because there was a smaller fire, many cameras were on when the second explosion started.

Phenomenal footage and news on #BeirutBlast

Afterwards

The danger of uncontrolled chemistry.

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 9.9/10 (36 votes cast)
Unthreaded Explosions, 9.9 out of 10 based on 36 ratings

111 comments to Unthreaded Explosions

  • #
    robert rosicka

    Mythbusters packed an old cement truck with similar and the result was absolute devastation but this was even bigger , I’m amazed the death toll wasn’t higher .

    60

    • #
      AndyG55

      “I’m amazed the death toll wasn’t higher .”

      Unfortunately still climbing.

      What a devastating mess ! :-(

      40

    • #
      MrGrimNasty

      I think this must might been the equivalent of 10-15% of the Hiroshima bomb.

      10

    • #
      sophocles

      What’s the formula for gun powder?

      - carbon (charcoal for the bbq)

      - sulphur (flowers of sulphur for the roses)

      - potassium/sodium/ammonium nitrate …

      When I was a kid of seven, every boy my age knew the recipe and how to make it.

      It has a propensity for self detonation if “temperatures are high” It doesn’t need hydrocarbon fuel nor a fire, but they sure do help.

      41

      • #
        John F. Hultquist

        Yes, but we used ounces, not tons. Might mention that we could buy chemistry sets, no longer available, for the experimental part of the education of young minds.

        Jo mentioned the McVeigh/Nichols bombing [7,000-pound (3,200 kg)] in Oklahoma City (1995):
        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oklahoma_City_bombing#Building_the_bomb

        Anyway, port officials in Beirut apparently had warned of this danger and the need to get it out of there. Government folks ignored the information.

        50

  • #
    el gordo

    This must be climate change.

    ‘Tasmania’s wintry blast continued overnight, with Launceston in the state’s north receiving its most significant snowfall since the early 1970s.

    ‘The Bureau of Meteorology’s Luke Johnston said snow in the northern city was a rare event.’ Weatherzone

    102

  • #
    Geoff Sherrington

    In 1970 I worked as a research chemist at the brand new big Austral-Pacific urea plant on Gibson Island in the Brisbane River.
    We made urea because its competitor, ammonium nitrate, exploded.
    It was made by the opposition over the river.
    They worked out a way to stop explosions by coating the prills with a surfactant that impeded explosive shock propagation.
    I was asked to test it. It worked, within the range of tests I was able to do.

    At Beirut there are clearly at least 2 explosions.
    The first one has brown smoke, typical of some organics like pyridine or of high-iron material or perhaps even soil mxsed in somehow.
    The second shows mainly a water condensate in the iar, like a cloud chamber effect, or an aircraft through the sound barrier on a humid day.
    The second is consistent with, but no prooof of, Ammonium Nitrate.
    Ammonium Nitrate explosive is typically mixed with fuel oil to make ANFO.
    Anyone who stored tonnes of ANFO for 5 years is a criminal.
    Anyone who stored tonnes untreated Ammonium Nitrate is a criminal. Geoff S

    132

    • #
      Leo G

      Apparently, there have been reports over several years of Hezbollah munitions stored at the same site, so possibly an adjacent explosion detonated the ammonium nitrate.

      40

    • #
      TedM

      Geoff I always understood that ammonium nitrate needed a reducing agent in order to explode. That seemed to fit with my background in chemistry (somewhat limited). I have actually witnessed demonstrations of this, and how it needs to be detonated. Am I completely wrong?

      00

    • #
      neil

      Ammonium Nitrate should not be stored for long periods as the protective coating on the pellets breaks down with long term exposure to moisture. So storing it for years on a dock is madness. This is the same situation with the Takata airbag explosions, they swapped stable military grade RDX (C4) for cheaper ANFO without considering the long term deterioration.

      If deteriorated AN is stored in a confined space and a fire breaks out it can explode without a fuel supply, which is a concern as many farmers store AN in sheds for years.

      40

  • #
    Rob Kennedy

    Maybe fertilizer, maybe not. Some evidence here that it was not.
    https://www.veteranstoday.com/2020/08/04/breaking-israel-nukes-beirut/

    34

    • #
      Rob Kennedy

      Video compilation.
      https://www.investmentwatchblog.com/beirut-explosion-videos-compilation/

      Ammonium nitrate is a good and cheap explosive used mainly in large mining blastholes but usually needs a detonated dynamite type explosive to make sure the whole load does explode. One property of it is that it has a very low detonation velocity. For this and other reasons explosives experts will scoff at the Oklahoma Bombing being effected by a truckload of ammonium nitrate parked out on the street. Likewise, the Bali Bombing could not have been done in the same manner, especially with a huge crater in the street and an explosive with a blast velocity high enough to strip concrete walls back to the rebar.
      Mini nukes have been a “secret” device for decades and are small enough to be fired from a 155mm howitzer or delivered to a site by a small team of saboteurs.
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Suitcase_nuclear_device

      Another property of ANFO (ammonium nitrate & fuel oil, usually diesel) is that it has an endothermic reaction with water, so I’m told by veterans of the Pilbara Iron Ore mines. When having a barbecue 44 gallon drums split lengthwise were half filled with water and ANFO added into which canned beer was deposited to bring the temperature down from “Kimberley Cool” – 42+ degrees celsius, to a more refreshing chill. The only drawback was that you had to wipe the top of the can with a paper tissue to get rid of the diesel taste.

      02

      • #
        Analitik

        Radioactivity would be in lots of news reports (even from neighbouring countries) if the explosion was from a nuclear weapon.

        10

      • #
        James Murphy

        it’s just the ammonium nitrate that’s endothermic, but if all you’ve got is ANFO, why not! have to keep beer cold somehow!

        10

    • #
      Rob Kennedy

      Headlines:
      BIBI BOMBS BEIRUT

      NETANYAHU NUKES NITRATES

      Nothing to see here folks. Move along please, move along.

      00

    • #
      WXcycles

      Veterans Today is the worst form of shameless ignorance-spreading click-baiting confected lying garbage, every day of the week.

      Oh yes, but they’re so interesting with it, right?

      12

  • #
    • #
      el gordo

      ‘We learn that ‘The UK as a whole was -0.8°C below the long-term (1981-2010) average for the month.’ This is described as ‘a fairly unremarkable month’ until a warm last day. Would it also have been unremarkable if it was 0.8C *above* the long-term average?’

      Tallbloke’s Talkshop

      20

      • #
        MrGrimNasty

        July was the coldest month in England relative to average this year, but the calendar year to date is still heading for a high record in the entire Central England series. It was by a massive margin after the missing winter, but it has come down somewhat. With another week long heatwave imminent and warmer than average temperatures expected for the remainder of the next 2 weeks at least, August will be another hot month. Here’s hoping things cool off, else the BBC and Met Office will never shut up.

        51

    • #
      Peter Fitzroy

      I would like your take on this, if you have the time el gordo

      https://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/news/defining-climate-normals-new-ways

      Thanks in advance

      03

  • #
    Chad

    I know Ammonium Nitrate is an energy source, bu i thought it needed a Hydrocarbon mixed in to make it an explosive ?

    80

  • #
    John Lyon

    AN is used in quarries etc as a cheap exposive but it is mixed with oil or diesel before it is effective. Sitting for a long time it is going to turn into a rock unless it is kept in ideal conditions.

    62

  • #
    TdeF

    ANFO is a mixture of 94% ammonium nitrate (“AN”) and 6% fuel oil (“FO”) widely used as a bulk industrial explosive.

    At a density of 1.7tons/cubic metre, this is 1600 cubic metres of the stuff. That’s 10 metres x 10metres x 16 metres of high explosive of the sort used to bring down mountains.

    Now I have to guess this is going to be sold as fertilizer? Who was storing all this and why?

    There is an article on Lebanon in the Spectator. The story is that it will soon cease to exist as a country. Demolishing the port is one way to make that happen overnight.

    61

    • #
      TdeF

      From Wikipedia

      “The potential for use of the material as an explosive has prompted regulatory measures. For example, in Australia, the Dangerous Goods Regulations came into effect in August 2005 to enforce licensing in dealing with such substances.

      Licenses are granted only to applicants (industry) with appropriate security measures in place to prevent any misuse.

      Additional uses such as education and research purposes may also be considered, but individual use will not.

      Employees of those with licenses to deal with the substance are still required to be supervised by authorized personnel and are required to pass a security and national police check before a license may be granted.”

      And they had a mountain of the stuff in one location? It’s equivalent to 2700 tons of dynamite. That’s about 1/20th of the size of the original atom bomb dropped 75 years ago on Hiroshima.

      51

      • #
        TdeF

        And another matter of interest, Ammonium Nitrate on Alibaba is $US323 to $US350 a tonne, so $A500. That 2700 tons was only $1.3Million dollars in fertilizer. Combined with 6% fuel oil, it must be the world’s cheapest explosive.

        At 14 tons a mid sized dump truck, that 200 dump trucks of dynamite.

        41

  • #
    Matty

    It was a Hezbollah missile factory. They are in the process of retro fitting guidance systems to their stockpile of Iranian rockets.

    Bibi is pointing to it here – site 1

    https://olivetreeviews.org/flashback-netanyahu-warned-the-united-nations-of-iranian-missile-stockpiles-in-beirut-back-in-2018/

    81

  • #
    tonyb

    I understand the load was confiscated six years ago. Anyone know who from and why such an extraordinarily large amount was seized in the first place?

    20

  • #
    Kalm Keith

    Saw the online newsclip of the explosion; massive.

    20

  • #
    Peter C

    Still unanswered questions?

    I wondered why there was so much footage of the explosion. Jo has answered that:“Because there was a smaller fire, many cameras were on when the second explosion started.”

    What caused the smaller fire? Why did the ammonium nitrate blow up if it wasn’t mixed with diesel fuel? It seems the whole quantity had already been made into explosive.
    Who owned it?

    30

    • #
      TdeF

      In the land of endless war, gangs, extortion, score settling it may have been deliberately set off. Someone didn’t pay. Why would someone steal 2700 tons of fertilizer?

      Also if heated, this stuff melts and it can decompose releasing vast amounts of NO2. In a confined space, that may have triggered a catastrophic chain reaction. Amazingly it is possible the blast could have been much bigger. 3,000 tons of TNT is nuclear in size.

      The total explosive power is roughly the same as a thousand bomber raid on Berlin in 1945.

      51

      • #
        TdeF

        However all that’s needed is a fire and a source of carbon. I wonder if that was supplied by the grain silo, if that is what is in the photographs. A fire, heat, decomposition of the chemical, and clouds of nitrous oxide hitting a hydrocarbon fire, say of grain. A cascading series of explosions culminating in a huge explosion. There appears to be a pulse of pure water vapour at supersonic speed. From the series of colours of plumes, a number of different reactions. White, red. Little carbon black because of all the oxygen.

        21

      • #
        sophocles

        chicago tribune shows it well.

        The orange cloud is NO2 gas (toxic).

        Port facilities: Que? What port facilities?

        20

    • #
      sophocles

      Why did the ammonium nitrate blow up if it wasn’t mixed with diesel fuel?

      It doesn’t need to be mixed with anything to explode. It can do so all by itself.
      Even if used as a fertilizer, it’s not recommended to store at home.

      I rented a house in Auckland back in the late 1970s. I found just over half a 50kg sack of the stuff in a shed behind the house. I used it to restore the back lawn as fast as
      I could dissolve it in water — and I did that in small quantities.

      From Wikipedia:

      Solid ammonium nitrate decomposes on heating. At temperatures below ca. 300 C the decomposition is mainly to nitrous oxide and water

      NH4NO3 → N2O + 2H2O

      At higher temperatures, the following reaction predominates.[7]

      2NH4NO3 → 2N2 + O2 + 4H2O

      Both decomposition reactions are exothermic. Consequently, when the mass of ammonium nitrate is greater than the critical mass the decomposition is explosive.

      Exothermic means it gives off heat.

      It’s dangerous stuff.

      90

      • #
        Rob Kennedy

        Sophocles, me being old I remember well buying 25kg bags of ammonium nitrate from hardware/garden supplies establishments in the mid 1980′s. You went in and picked up a bag from a stack of it near other types of fertilizer and mulches etc. No one considered it too dangerous then, but people knew enough not to store it near oils and fuels. It really made the lawn a lovely dark green in Spring and Summer.

        Most golf course, municipal council depots etc. would have had a good stockpile.

        When the “War On Terror” began measures were put in force to prevent this – licences, no sales to the public etc. Ammonium Nitrate was demonised as ‘very dangerous’ and we all over-fertilized or lawns for a short time to get rid of our supplies.

        Why, back in the good old days you could go to the local Technical College (T.A.F.E.) and do a short course in “Agricultural Demolition”, gain a certificate and be able to buy detonators, det cord and gelignite to improve your farm by blasting out stumps etc. And you could lend or hire out your services to other farmers or go ‘fishing’ in the local lagoon.

        Aah! The good old days, when authorities trusted people to do the right thing and we Australians were generally trustworthy. No need to lock your car or house -nobody stole your dog.

        10

        • #
          MP

          First Mine I worked at we used to grab a bucket full from the shed and fertilise the lawn around our donga’s, bit heavy handed first time round killed it, but when she came back, greenist of greens.
          Just swept it up off the floor from the split bags due to poor aim with the fork lift.

          10

  • #
    Speedy

    Same as most people, I’d just assumed ammonium nitrate needed an organic fuel with it to make it explosive. We all know about ANFO. But checking out the good old safety data sheet, it says, “In case of fire, fight remotely due to the risk of explosion.”
    They were clearly correct.
    Cheers,
    Speedy

    51

  • #
    Peter Fitzroy

    Used in the Oklahoma bombing

    20

  • #
    Peter Fitzroy

    Of course in the litany of man made disasters the 3 Gorges Dam is still there
    And the Genoa Bridge, designed and built by the children of the aqueduct building romans, fell down.
    But China is bad.

    28

  • #
    David Maddison

    It joins a long list of similar disasters.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ammonium_nitrate_disasters

    21

    • #
      Graeme#4

      There was also a massive explosion in Halifax Canada during WW2, with at least one ammunition ship going up and levelling part of the town.

      20

      • #
        FijiDave

        Wrong war, G4. 6th December 1917 when two ships collided and blew up. 2.7 k tons of TNT equivalent.

        Many dead, c2,000. From memory, they found an anchor from one of the ships 30 miles away.

        20

  • #
    Jojodogfacedboy

    Just speculating here.
    It was a warehouse which obviously stored more than this aluminum nitrate.
    If it had barrels of fuel and chemicals which may have caught fire and a small explosion could have spread it and putting water on this could spread the fuel into this aluminum nitrate.
    Making this accident into a massive bomb.
    I doubt it was on purpose due to the way it was a fire first before the massive eruption.
    No doubt the surrounding buildings will be too damaged by that shockwave to safely live in.

    31

  • #
    Kevin a

    Daniel Andrew’s final solution for Melbourne?

    40

  • #
    • #
      AndyG55

      Now the clean up bill.. courtesy the taxpayer ?

      70

    • #
      robert rosicka

      Neither does crime but being an CAGW evangelist and renewable spruiker does .

      30

      • #
        Peter Fitzroy

        Not as much as a coal lobbyist

        08

        • #
          AndyG55

          Coal doesn’t need lobbyists.

          It can stand on its own.

          Is responsible, with oil and gas, for the development of western civilisation, that you strive vainly to be part of.

          50

          • #
            Peter Fitzroy

            Then what is the minerals council of nsw spending all its money on?

            01

            • #
              MP

              Popcorn and Beer, laying back and enjoying the circus.

              10

            • #
              AndyG55

              “Then what is the minerals council of nsw spending all its money on?”

              Because it is actually USEFUL because it provides CONSISTENT, RELIABLE ELECTRICITY.

              Did you know that even YOUR pitiful existence RELIES TOTALLY on the reliability of COAL-FIRED ELECTRICITY !

              60

  • #

    I heard that the large white building is Lebanon’s only grain loader??? and silo, and that it has now been totally destroyed, and that now, Lebanon has no facility to offload any bulk grain.

    Tony.

    20

  • #
    AndyG55

    Huge blast crater

    https://i.postimg.cc/43WVdXYq/Blast-Crater.jpg

    If you compare the aerial drone footage capture above, with Google Earth, you can see that the round patch of water in the lower left is where the warehouse was !!!

    That is some crater !!

    That upright mess was the main grain silos.

    30

    • #
      Kalm Keith

      Whada ya think Orica uses the huge stockpile of Ammonium nitrate in Newcastle harbour for?

      They ship the stuff out west of Sugarloaf and use it to blow up the valley looking for coal.

      20

  • #
    AndyG55

    Huge blast crater

    https://i.postimg.cc/43WVdXYq/Blast-Crater.jpg

    If you compare the aerial drone footage capture above, with Google Earth, you can see that the round patch of water in the lower left is where the warehouse was !

    That is some crater !

    That upright mess was the main grain silos.

    10

    • #
      AndyG55

      Looking further on Google Earth , pre-blast, you can see the container docks and two small possibly newly claimed flat areas to the East of where the blast area is

      Maybe there is still hope for getting food and medical and other supplies (glass?) in if the container dock is not too badly damaged.

      I hope the “big” countries offer very significant aid.

      20

      • #
        Kalm Keith

        Andy, have you Google earthed the Newcastle Orica site to see how far it is from the built up areas?
        Apparently there’s much more of that stuff here than was blown in Beirut.

        00

        • #
          Chad

          Yes, 12,000 + tonnes are reported there…5x as much !
          With 50,000 people living within the potential “Blast radius”. !
          The situation is being “reviewed” .

          20

  • #
    OriginalSteve

    I wondered if it might have been a low yield tactical nuke ( suitcase nuke , like Bali was ) although the story below seems plausible. That said , if it was a hit, qui bono from taking out Beirut?

    https://www.thedailybeast.com/beirut-ignored-public-warning-there-was-a-russian-bomb-at-the-port

    33

    • #
      Analitik

      Radioactivity would be in lots of new reports (even from neighbouring countries) if the explosion was from a nuclear weapon.

      50

      • #
        OriginalSteve

        Low yield devices dont produce much radiation….

        12

        • #

          easily debunked as we can detect “not much radiation”

          20

          • #
            OriginalSteve

            Except that in 5th gen nukes, most of the fissile material is consumed, leading to next to no fallout.

            It would be interesting to see if the lights/power grid went out briefly near the blast zone, it could indicate EMP. The bali bomb certainly did that.

            10

          • #
            OriginalSteve

            The other interesting thing is we see a white hot plasma ball, which is consistent with a nuke, and leaving a 140m wide crater and *vapourizing* everything that previously was there.

            Nope…couldn’t be a nuke…..

            11

            • #

              I know you love creating fanciful conspiracies based on your say so but this is too stupid.

              Fallout is low but is still measurable. What you claimed doesn’t change that.

              “White hot”? You were there with a thermometer were you? What temperature is white? Looked like condensed water vapour to me but then I wasn’t there either.

              Vapourised? Evidence?

              10

      • #
        OriginalSteve

        Then there is this:( i cant verify if its genuine, but makes you wonder what else might have been stored in that warehouse? )

        https://www.breakingisraelnews.com/156267/trump-was-right-new-footage-reveals-beirut-blast-was-indeed-attack/

        10

      • #
        OriginalSteve

        One thing i noticed too….the main blast that followed what appears to be the fertilizer explosion ( the brown smoke ), if you follow the main blast , at one stage you briefly but clearly see a tell tale nuke halo shape in the blast cloud. The othe thing too is that the main bladt is too “clean”. Its exactly what you would expect a huge military grade blast to look like.

        11

  • #
    Richard Quigley

    There was also a massive explosion in Halifax Canada during WW2

    That was WW1, 1917.

    There was a smaller explosion during WW2 in the Bedford Basin Arms Storage Depot.

    10

  • #
    Richard Quigley

    “There was also a massive explosion in Halifax Canada during WW2″

    That was WW1, 1917.

    There was a smaller explosion during WW2 in the Bedford Basin Arms Storage Depot.

    20

  • #
    Another Delcon

    In outback Queensland a truck carrying Ammonium Nitrate crashed on a bridge and caught fire . After a while it detonated .
    News report from 2014 here :
    https://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-09-06/ammonium-nitrate-truck-explodes-in-charleville-queensland-8-hurt/5724512
    Not much left of the bridge , even less of the truck remained .
    Made a mess of the fire brigade unit parked near by as well .

    30

    • #
      Kalm Keith

      Thanks AD.

      There’s also a link in there about the huge Orica stockpile of ammonium nitrate on the shores of NovoCastria.

      Worries.

      10

    • #
      TedM

      I can understand the case of the truck because there would have been diesel involved. I discussed this last night with a friend who is an industrial chemist. His thoughts were similar to mine.

      Can anyone who comments on this site provide an equation for the reaction. I am genuinely interested.

      00

      • #
        Chad

        Ted, Did you read comment 12.2 , above ?
        I can see this being the subject of ongoing conspiracy theories etc , for years !

        00

  • #
    Kevin a

    If it looks like a Nuke it was probably just office fires, Yes?
    Impossible for gun powder to explode with out a container, was definitely a device.
    No fire cracker factory in the world stores that much explosives in one spot.

    10

    • #
      John PAK

      Containment certainly enhances the standard fertiliser/diesel stump removal mix. In open air it deflagrates with a low-pressure “foop” but when you dig burrows under a big tree stump and pack them with fertiliser and wet it with diesel as you back fill with more fertiliser and then plug the entrance with damp soil, you get a different bang altogether. 9 kg of mix will lift a 3 tonne stump off the ground leaving a big crater (and many upset neighbours). The bang is much sharper and can be felt inside your chest. When constricted, the chemistry changes from a normal deflagration to an explosion reaction that liberates oxygen which in turn accelerates the chemical reaction creating that super-sonic pulse wave.
      The very thought of storing one tonne in one place scares me but 2750t is madness.
      Sophocles at 12.2 points to an explosive reaction. For one Ammonium Nitrate, 2 water vapours are liberated and this tallies with the compression / decompression wall of the shock-wave in the video. All that water vapour condenses in the decompression behind the high pressure shock-wave.

      I find it hard to understand why someone did not flag this years ago but then we let a cruise-ship of diseased people land in Australia with no quarantine despite full and present knowledge of the potential for harm.

      20

  • #
    Travis T. Jones

    Further evidence that believing in doomsday global warming is a mental health issue.

    Quite so if you don’t ‘believe’ in the doomsday global warming, you are an optimist!

    Does Optimism on Climate Change Make You Pro-Trump?

    “My views on climate change—and, more generally, on humanity’s future—have never been stable.”

    https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/does-optimism-on-climate-change-make-you-pro-trump/

    The Climate Anxiety Doctor Is “In”
    https://www.hakaimagazine.com/article-short/climate-anxiety-doctor

    20

  • #
    Travis T. Jones

    If Trump looses, November 4 and it’s doomsday back on track …

    August 6, 2020: Bill Gates issued a stark warning for the world: ‘As awful as this pandemic is, climate change could be worse’

    https://www.businessinsider.com.au/bill-gates-coronavirus-warning-climate-change-worse-than-covid-2020-8?r=US&IR=T

    40

  • #
    Matty

    My trickle out of Israel this morning says there was rocket fuel involved which would confirm the presence of Iranian missiles but Hezbollah who basically run Lebanon have also been known to stockpile fertilizer for obvious reasons. A Former president (Hariri) was eliminated this way.

    20

    • #
      TedM

      So now we have ammonium nitrate (oxidising agent}, rocket fuel (reducing agent) and iranian missiles (detonator). If that’s true it would explain everything including the magnitude of the blast.

      20

      • #
        John PAK

        If I was asked to destabilise a nation anonymously I’d look a round for an accident waiting to happen and … make it happen. Only the morons on the planet put their hands up and claim responsibility but then the world does seem full of moron these days.

        00

  • #
    NuThink

    BBC pictures on the vapour cone from aircraft.

    https://www.bbc.com/future/article/20160216-you-think-this-is-a-sonic-boom-its-not

    Time lapse display of the formation of the Cape Town Table Cloth.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zOpkXBACDU4

    10

  • #
    Peter C

    Car on Fire!

    Today I was passed by a Fire Engine on the eastern freeway (inbound) in Melbourne. Soon after I came to a car on fire near the Hoddle St exit, with fire engines attending. There was a lot of smoke!

    I wondered if it would be a Tesla, but I think it was a Toyota of some sort. Maybe a Hybrid?

    30

  • #
    Gerry, England

    Dr North picked up on this given that the UK is currently ruled by an infantile narcissist and ignorant liar, surrounded by a group of equally ignorant clapping seals all intent on ‘a bonfire of red tape’ in the belief that regulations hold the economy back. Regulations on the storage of dangerous chemicals tend to be in place to stop people being obliterated by explosions such as this. The last big accident in the UK was Flixborough in 1974. This resulted in changes to legislation to prevent it happening again. As the EU took over this field of legislation, changes came from other incidents to prevent them from happening again. The closest we came in the UK was the Buncefield fuel depot in 2005 but the rules since Flixborough have required siting these places away from people and hence although the explosion was heard for tens of miles and the smoke cloud travelled for miles as well, nobody was killed. I bet the people of Beirut wished they had had some regulations.

    20

  • #
    OldOzzie

    Watch: Closest footage yet of Beirut blasts from apartment balcony opposite port – – if you look at the first blast after the fire, given the intensity of that 1st explosion and subsequent growth and flashes, that was munitions exploding rather than fireworks, and that seems to have triggered the main ammonium nitrate explosion, which those 2 people who were livestreaming, would not have survived.

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    Russ Wood

    A commenter on another blog surmised that the second explosion might well be the result of grain dust in the next-door silos. It’s well known that flour in the air can cause an explosion – see https://hflconsulting.uk/latest/flour-power-the-danger-of-dust-explosions/ – which becomes effectively a fuel-air explosive!
    So maybe just the dust from the grain could be the cause? But the FIRST explosion? Who knows what the allies of the Lebanese are storing there?

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    OldOzzie

    Lebanon – What happened?

    The second explosion was much more significant, and produced thick whitish-grey “dirty” smoke, consistent with some high explosives and even rocket fuel. Several witnesses of the second explosion insisted at first they heard airplane engines, but closer examination by analysis of several videos and the commentary by eyewitnesses themselves on the ground ultimately place the source of that roaring sound within the fire, further suggesting that rocket engines were being set off rather than planes flying overhead.1 Smaller continuing explosions persisted, with white flashes seen in and above the building. While fireworks could still not be ruled out, after the second explosion, the thick dirty grey smoke, whooshing airplane-type sound rather than predominant whistling, the absence of a spectacular airborne display of streamers and sparkling explosions spraying in every direction as would be consistent with firework explosions (since the roof had already been blown off the building at that time) – all seem to suggest rockets, mortars and missiles of some sort rather than fireworks were igniting. About 20 seconds after the second blast, the escalating fire dramatically ramped up, as did the resulting pace of white flashes in and above the building, which seem to be consistent with small-caliber explosives, such as mortars and rockets.

    In short, something much more explosive, which produces white-grey dirty smoke and a sound like a roaring aircraft engine, produced the second explosion, of which we know nothing else at this point since the government is sticking closely to the “fireworks” explanation entirely. That second explosion seemed to set in motion what eventually triggered the final and third explosion. In fact, it is clear that the Lebanese government It is determined to not have the cause of this second explosion known or discussed.

    About 28 seconds after the second blast, during which the flames and white flashes intensified, more “humming” and a roaring crescendo can be heard in the videos suggesting missile engines roaring, and then a final round of white-flash explosions popping off which was followed suddenly by a massive eruption – the third and final explosion. Still frame photos of the exact moment of the massive explosion showed the entire warehouse – this time hangar 12 – simultaneously and uniformly detonated.

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