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#51 Edited by Inkerman (1449 posts) -

@bourbon_warrior: Not to mention McVeigh used ammonium nitrate. Though, this still seems like an accident. It didn't start as an explosion; it just started as a reported fire at the highly-compressed anhydrous ammonia tank that had been refilled today. The firefighters weren't able to get it under control, and it appears that the anhydrous ammonia ignited, leading to the explosion on display.

Usually, a plant like this shouldn't be at risk of an explosion, but something must have gone wrong for that to happen.

The plant owners believed that the worst case scenario was that the ammonia would just vent into the atmosphere, maybe the ventilation system failed or something and the gas didn't get released.

#52 Posted by Atlas (2430 posts) -

I'm a stoic guy, sometimes pragmatic and clinical to a fault. I get emotional and heated about things going on in my own life - usually insignificant bullshit - but rarely do I see something in the news that has a similar effect.

But man, that video shook me up. To have the full drama of the explosion, to have it come out of nowhere and see panic set in, to hear a child...fuuuck.

#53 Posted by PolygonSlayer (419 posts) -

Fuck, the amount of explosions these past few days! :((
The series of bombings in Iraq, the Boston bombings and now this, all within a few days! Could stuff seriously stop blowing up please!

#54 Edited by TruthTellah (8552 posts) -

Good news!

The Waco PD representative just confirmed some hopeful information regarding the tragedy. The fire started around 6PM local time. After firefighters tried to put out the fire for a hour, they realized it was out of control and began an evacuation. The firefighters left the immediate area and along with local police went door to door to try to evacuate the nearby homes and nursing home. This means that a decent number of people were able to leave the primary blast zone. So, while many of them were likely injured in the blast, less were in the immediate blast zone than initially believed.

That's the good news. The still tragic news is that they had not completed the evacuation, and this meant that firefighters, police officers, and many residents were still within the area. They are not confirming solid numbers, but they have confirmed that some firefighters, at least one police officer, and many victims have been found dead. They don't want to give solid numbers of deceased until they have solid numbers to give. They could confirm that a few hundred people have been injured, some severely, with the burn victims being transported to the primary burn unit in Dallas.

Gas-masked firefighters are currently going house to house to find those who have been hurt or died, and unfortunately, due to extensive damage, they must take special precautions until all of the gas lines are fully shut off. Despite the dangerous chemicals in the air, they are still pulling out survivors. And fires continue in the area; though, they do appear to be improving.

#55 Posted by zels (204 posts) -

Fuck, the amount of explosions these past few days! :((

The series of bombings in Iraq, the Boston bombings and now this, all within a few days! Could stuff seriously stop blowing up please!

You forgot about Bangalore.

#56 Edited by TruthTellah (8552 posts) -

Consider this for scale:

Timothy McVeigh used a truck full of 4,800 lbs of ammonium nitrate in the Oklahoma City bombing.

The tank that exploded here contained 54,000 lbs of highly-compressed anhydrous ammonia.

That's insane.

#58 Edited by TruthTellah (8552 posts) -
#59 Posted by Nivash (241 posts) -

@truthtellah: Amazing interview. But what the hell is wrong with reporters these days!? "How are you feeling right now", "Do you think God is the only one who can help you right now", "what are your prayers for" and tons of other beyond stupid questions. Even questions like "who are you most worried about" or "what do you want from the nation" sounded like they were expecting him to answer family members and moral support, rather than the much more rational answers of "people trapped in houses" and "heavy equipment".

#60 Edited by Sanity (1892 posts) -

Such a violent explosion, hope its not as bad as it looks but that seems unlikely ) =

This week can fuck off.

#61 Posted by TheSouthernDandy (3795 posts) -

Man Americans are having a hell of a week. This really sucks :(

#62 Posted by EarlessShrimp (1631 posts) -

@breadfan said:

Any reports of this being an accident, or was it intentional? I'm hoping it is just some awful coincidence.

as @mellotronrules said, fertilizer can be pretty volatile. So, I'm leaning towards accident. But that's just what I'm hoping for. There's just as much reason to believe it was an intentional thing as it was an accident...

#63 Posted by DuskVamp (681 posts) -

Lots of tragedy in America this week :(

I don't understand how the surrounding area wasn't immediately evacuated as soon as the fire was reported though, and would have thought it would be far too dangerous for a fire crew to attend given the chemicals involved. Everyone knows how incredibly volatile fertilisers are, any fire at a fertiliser plant should start an immediate evacuation.

My thoughts go out to all the families of the victims and all of America this week.

#64 Edited by mrfluke (5093 posts) -
#65 Edited by jakob187 (21644 posts) -

1. Don't be fooled. Local reports are 5-15 casualties. Unfortunately, they can't get a good number because there are still a lot of people trapped. I know Buck Uptmor (West firefighter) is a confirmed casualty, as his family confirmed today on Facebook for us all.

2. It's bad, folks. That place is just....fuck, man. When you've seen that town for the last 25 years, it's just beyond words.

However, it brings a tear to my eye to see the way that all the surrounding towns - West, Waco, Robinson, Groesbeck, Hillsboro, etc - have all banded together and are trying to help in every way possible. The Czech Stop is still standing in West, and they have baking their asses off to get people food.

Goddamn, it's a terrible thing to see happen, but it's beautiful to see people come together like this.