Sometimes, you just have to ask "why?"
things go poorly
Sometimes, you just have to ask "why?"
I'd be absolutely shocked if this wasn't just a freak accident. My guess is that there was a fire somewhere in the plant, and tragically a fertilizer plant is just about the worst place in the world to have a fire like that.
Also would not be so quick to rule out foul play. Something set the fire. Less than 20 miles from Waco. Not ruling anything out at this point.
Chemical plants (incl. fertilizer plants) use a lot of hazardous and incredible flammable materials. Many plants don't allow you to carry cell phones in the manufacturing areas because of the high risk of torching the whole place is there's a spark.
I'd guess that the heat of the flames caused one of their hazardous chemical (ammonia something) storage tanks to explode. No real evidence for that yet, but it's a common hazard you look out for when designing your pressure relief devices and that place was absolutely engulfed in flames and people are referencing "another tank" like one of them is gone already
Without knowing what the plant in Waco specifically makes, I can postulate that the "ammonia something" you refer to is ammonium nitrate, which is both an excellent fertilizer and an excellent explosive. 400 lbs of the stuff are best used to fertilize 9 acres of farmland for growing corn; that same quantity is also how much Timothy McVeigh needed to blow up the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City back in 1994. You can imagine that a fertilizer manufacturing plant has a lot more than 9 acres-worth of ammonium nitrate on hand... and that's how you get one gigantic explosion.
which I nothing about, but I doubt you could find a fertilizer plant without something that will go boom so your point stands
God that looks awful...thoughts and prayers to everyone around there. Really worried especially about those first responders that rushed out to stop the fire before it went off...just terrible
I dont doubt anything, just curious, what site did you get those reported numbers from? I've been following it on the news (tv) since it all happened and they have 2 dead 100 injured...but it was only like 10mins ago that they all started even reporting on this, it was CNN only for quite a while
Otherwise, this would've read like another terrorist thing.
This is very sad, and my prayers go out to them. Fertilizer is a dangerous, dangerous thing.
I haven't seen any reports of fatalities? Can you link to where you heard that there were 60-70 fatalities? I have read that 60 to 70 were injured...
I've seen nothing close to 60-70 yet. Just the first responders so far. After the misinformation in Boston this afternoon, I just want to make sure those numbers can be verified somewhere.
Im sure it's all really chaotic right now, but all the on-ground reporters seem to be repeating those numbers when reporting on fox/cnn....can only hope it's very wrong though
I was hoping this was a case of people getting facts wrong trying to rush to get info on TV.
As more information comes out and the number is now 5-15 ESTIMATED deaths, I'm curious what that person's definition of "confirmed dead" is.
Wow, that's like something out of a movie, unreal. Thoughts and prayers with everyone affected.
Fox News was just reporting from their local affiliate that there are around 60 to 70 dead. Damage reports from up to 4 blocks away. This is crazy, so much has happened in the matter of a couple days... this all just needs to stop. Too much tradgedy, too many people dieing. The video of the explosion is insane, never seen anything like that. Thoughts to all of those families
Sometimes its hard to not be sad... No matter what your personal accomplishments are, it's hard to look around the world sometimes and tell yourself "this is all great."
Just have to hope that everyone affected by these events finds some sort of strength to move on..
The pure panic in the little girl's voice makes this very real.
Good god...I can't even imagine.
Wow. I've been to West, TX many times. They pride themselves on their Czech heritage, and the kolache bakery on I-35 was one of my go-to stops on the drive up to Dallas. I would sometimes bring them home with me at Christmas to needle my friends of Czech heritage because Michigan-Czech kolache are very different than Texas-Czech kolache.
You'd have a hard time finding a place with more of a small Texas town feel than West. My thoughts and prayers go out to them as they'll never be the same.
Is an automatic stop for us every time we pass, hungry or not.
We always look at these situations and tell ourselves that it will never happen to us. That the odds of being in situations like the Waco explosion or the Boston Marathon are just astronomical. But you just never know anymore.....
While I'm sure that this explosion was just a freak accident, you can't help but feel like the world is going to hell in a hand basket.
Hearts out to those involved
This video shows just how massive this explosion was. I will warn you there is a kids voice in the video but the NBC News outlet has reported him and his father are both ok.
No minimum safe distance from a fire like that, I don't think. That explosion was massive. I wonder if they were storing fertilizer or components in a silo or something, and it acted like a pressure vessel?
The man and his daughter are lucky to be alive. The article stated that the explosion registered as much force as a 2.1 earthquake on the Richter scale.
Wow! Just wow! That people are lucky to be alive just from the sound of the explosion.
That was incredible.
Incredible is the right word.
Incredible is the right word if and only if it is conjoined with some expression of horror.
I can't imagine being around that explosion. Praying for all those involved in that horrible tragedy.
As a Marine, my first instinct is to help a buddy in need. But honestly it would be very hard rushing headlong into something like that. Prayers sent to Texas
Just wanted to get this in here, but anyone who works in the chemical industry is taught that they should NOT try to help in situations like this unless they are part of the response team.
With the unknown circumstances and the potential for toxic gases, you could just be creating another victim if you run in there. Every safety training says you call for help and you get out. There have been multiple situations where someone has run in and died trying to help their friend.
From reports that are out this morning, they are saying that they have anywhere from 5 to 15 dead and 160 wounded as a result of this explosion. Homes within a 5-6 block radius were damage or destroyed - 50 to 75 individual reports of damage to structures thus far, per NBC. USGS apparently measured a ground tremor of 2.1 on the Richter scale too. Wow. Thoughts and condolences are with the injured and those who were lost and their families as well as the town of West.
I would like to point out that this was not in Waco; it was in West, Texas, which is about 15-20 miles from Waco. I'd suggest changing the title because when I woke up and read that, I immediately thought that this was related to the inital Waco incident. I know you're just rehashing info, but as more people read it, it should be made clear that there is no evidence that this was intentional or related to any other events that have happened during this week in history.
Tragic, just tragic. The news was airing video someone posted to youtube of the explosion this morning (Good Morning America, I believe). That's a very small community of around 2,800 and I don't know if you ever recover from something like this. I'll keep them in my thoughts today.
The ammonia gas released is terrible for people, very poisonous so I hope they bear that in mind.
anhydrous ammonia tank. On a couple of occasions they had a small leak and we had to evacuate. That stuff is just brutal.
and there are some really, really nasty chemicals that go into making fertilizer so I'm not surprised that that plant blew sky high like that considering how big the initial fire was.
What I am surprised about is that the company said they thought their worst case scenario was just a large fire. Someone there clearly did not understand the hazards of their own chemicals or they glossed it over to avoid spending the time and money to put the right safeguards in. I'm going to guess the latter
I thought I read somewhere that the chemicals were in large metal containers, which is why they didn't expect the second one to blow. They probably thought that the fire not getting to the chemicals directly was enough to prevent the explosion, but that probably just pressurized the tank and maybe caused a crack in it.
Holy hell, registered as a 2.1 magnitude earthquake. Damn.
The storage vessels would've served as pressure vessels, the ammonia (from the fertilizer) as an oxidizer, then all you need is a fuel... Usually when people make a bomb the fuel is gasoline, here it was anything that was kicked up by the initiall fire. Once the oxidizers and fuel were exposed you get rapid chemical combustion; an explosion.
This tragedy almost certainly falls 100% into the catigory of an industrial accident. Though safety of these facilities (in western countries anyway) has been impoved immensely the hazardous / flamable / combustable nature of the products still entails great risk.
My heart goes out to the families of those injured or worse.
Seems like you see this more at smaller companies in the US like this one. Typically the major chemical companies have the technical resources and cash to put in the right safeguards. You'll see these major disasters at small to mid-size companies who might not have the money, resources, time, knowledge, etc to put as much effort into their safety programs
I live in Waco (grad student at Baylor, did undergrad at UM) and I was shocked to see the news last night. The explosion was felt all the way in Arlington, roughly 100 miles away, and seismographs in Amarillo, 400 miles away, picked up the shock. Fortunately, all 130+ residents of the nursing home next to the plant were evacuated minutes before the explosion, and it happened at night so no students were in the middle school on the other side of the plant.
One of the coolest things about Central Texans is the community they feel for each other, and people have been standing in line in stormy downpours all morning to donate blood. It seems like every business, church, community center, or whatever in Waco has opened its doors to families that need a place to sleep. Continued thoughts and prayers for those in West are definitely appreciated, but I thought you all would like to know that the surrounding towns have totally stepped up to comfort as best we can.