catastrophe in Texas

I’m just watching with horror the coverage on the massive explosion in West Texas (and like Waco hasn’t seen enough tragedy). There are going to be dozens if not hundreds of casualties. They are saying that at least 60 residential homes and apartment buildings have been completely and utterly leveled in the explosion that people describe as being like a nuclear bomb. Everything within about a 4 block radius of the plant has been pretty much wiped out. It blew windows out of houses a mile away. The explosion was so loud it was heard 45 miles away. At 7:50 pm a lot of people would have been home eating dinner or watching tv following dinner, kids would have been outside playing. My thoughts and prayers are with the people in this small community.

4 responses to “catastrophe in Texas”

  1. Lynne says :

    Industrial plants such as this one should NEVER be allowed to locate so close to residential homes, and zoning should never allow homes to be built so close.
    The situation in Texas is a disaster.

  2. Lynne says :

    Apparently, when fire broke out, the firemen used water to try to extinguish it…but that set off a chemical reaction that caused the explosion.

    • israeliminx says :

      Water does not cause any sort of chemical reaction with ammonia nitrate (primary ingredient in fertilizer), although by bringing the humidity level above 59% water can encourage the liquification of it (e.g. for it to begin to decompose) and that makes an explosion more likely if it is simultaneously exposed to high temps (above 200 degrees). However, If temps reach above 200 degrees it will start to decompose anyway and that will most likely set off a runaway reaction. AN evolves in so much heat that this runaway reaction is normally impossible to stop. You don’t need any water to make a bomb using AN, only something that will gin up the temp really really high –that is why it is so deadly in bombs.

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