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View Diary: Liveblog: Fertilizer Plant Explosion Injures Dozens in West, TX (305 comments)

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  •  A video is up showing the explosion on youtube (10+ / 0-)

    The plant was on fire, and firefighters were on-scene fighting the blaze. Then it blew up.

    That's pretty typical of ammonium nitrate explosions -- you can find some on youtube and the famous Texas City explosion was similar, tho' shipboard -- ammonium nitrate is hard to set off, but large quantities can and will spontaneously detonate while burning.

    The last on the video feed that I saw said 60-70 dead, and hundreds injured. Pictures of an apartment building near the plant looked like it had been hit by a tornado.

    I'm more surprised that the firefighters stuck around trying to fight the fire, rather than evacuating the area. Ironically, putting water on burning AN may make it more likely to detonate.

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