Forumite

Big Boom Beirut.

  • Creator
    Topic
  • #61061
    Participant
    PlaneMan
    @planeman

    Massive explosion. I’ve got chills like I did with 9/11 and 7/7 London.

Viewing 18 replies - 1 through 18 (of 18 total)
  • Author
    Replies
  • #61064
    Participant
    Dave Rice
    @ricedg
    Forumite Points: 9,073

    Saw it on the news, looks like it’s an explosives warehouse.

    #61066
    Participant
    PlaneMan
    @planeman
    Forumite Points: 7,221

    Yes Dave, either that or maybe, just maybe, fertiliser.

    That doesn’t fit with the small flashes of light though, as far as I know.

    #61072
    Participant
    Ed P
    @edps
    Forumite Points: 16,283

    Sorry guys I was in the middle of posting when you wrote your contributions. I will delete my post.

    The video of the explosion in the port of Beirut scared the pants off me. link

    Purely guessing but it had the appearance of a 0.25Kt bomb blast following a nearby fire. As it was a single blast I doubt if it were a munitions store, but rather an LPG  BLEVE (fuel-air explosion). This is the sort of event which gives all fire-fighters sphincter cramp or brown trousers. My thoughts go out to all the families involved as the death toll must surely be in the 100s, and damage to property huge.

    The cause of the explosion is unknown at this time, but I suspect cock-up rather than Israeli/US action/sabotage.

    btw the satellite view of the port shows what looks like half a dozen LPG 500 tonne spheres

    • This reply was modified 1 month, 3 weeks ago by Ed P.
    #61075
    Participant
    Ed P
    @edps
    Forumite Points: 16,283

    Please delete my other posting.

    #61081
    Participant
    Wheels-Of-Fire
    @grahamdearsley
    Forumite Points: 5,966

    Wow, look at that shock wave !

    The closest thing I’ve seen to that was a train tanker carrying liquid propane gas exploding in a fire.

    #61085
    Participant
    Wheels-Of-Fire
    @grahamdearsley
    Forumite Points: 5,966
    #61088
    Participant
    Ed P
    @edps
    Forumite Points: 16,283

    The report that it was a sodium nitrate explosion  is definitely not the whole story. Without a ‘fuel’, sodium nitrate is almost completely inert, It is even quite hard to make it detonate using heat alone. However mix it with something like solvents or a flammable gas and it is as dangerous as hell.

    Looking at the Guardian clip there is the characteristic orange ‘smoke’ of nitrogen dioxide immediately before the explosion, so sodium nitrate was probably involved but something else supplied the fuel which caused it to detonate.

    This article confirms my suspicion that a lot of other things must have gone wrong at the same time.

    #61090
    Participant
    Drezha
    @drezha
    Forumite Points: 2,889

    I did see somewhere mention that nearby was a grain silo as well, and grain silo’s explode quite well. I don’t think I’ve ever seen one quite that size though.

    In regards to the BLEVE, they usually take quite a while to happen as you have to wait for the gas to boil and then the pressure to build to the point that the container explodes from the pressure. Not sure how long between the first and second explosions, as I’ve not looked in to it that much. I’d also expect multiple bangs if it was multiple LPG canisters, rather than that huge explosion.

    However, that first fire could have ruptured them and then a huge explosion as they gas ignites – think Buncefield, as that was one of the largest peace time explosions in Europe.

    #61095
    Participant
    Ed P
    @edps
    Forumite Points: 16,283

    It looks a lot like a reprise of the 500 ton Tianjin explosion in which a fuel (acetylene) accidentally became mixed with the fertilizer. Tianjin is thought to have been  caused by firefighters at an adjacent fire mistakenly spraying water over calcium carbide containers.

    #61099
    Participant
    Drezha
    @drezha
    Forumite Points: 2,889

    BBC is saying that it is 2750 tonnes of ammioum nitrate – link.

    President Michel Aoun said 2,750 tonnes of ammonium nitrate had been stored unsafely in a warehouse for six years.

    Backs up the fertisilier comment made earlier.

    Tianjin is thought to have been caused by firefighters at an adjacent fire mistakenly spraying water over calcium carbide containers.

    Seem to recall a major fire in Bradford that this was the same case. – I was mistaken – that was AZDN.

    #61109
    Participant
    Dave Rice
    @ricedg
    Forumite Points: 9,073

    Looks like the first explosion was something to do with a fireworks store by the flashes going off, then after a while boom! That also explains why so many caught it on camera.

    The aftermath reminds me of the photos of Hiroshima.

    #61111
    Participant
    keith with the teef
    @thinktank
    Forumite Points: 2,732

    The burn was so fast that I thought it was a nuke. Luckily it was not.

    Every cloud has a silver lining.

    #61122
    Participant
    Wheels-Of-Fire
    @grahamdearsley
    Forumite Points: 5,966

    I suppose gun powder would proved quite a good fuel for a sodium nitrate explosion and it does look like they had a firework factory explosion first.

    #61130
    Participant
    Ed P
    @edps
    Forumite Points: 16,283

    Stepping through the video, it starts with a ‘normal’ fire in or near the grain silo – no red gases. If that fire caused  the release of a cloud of grain dust and glowing particles the combination with the fertilizer prill would be deadly. (the integrity of the fertilizer store must first have been compromised in some way by the first event. (maybe a grain dust explosion).

    • This reply was modified 1 month, 3 weeks ago by Ed P.
    #61137
    Participant
    Ed P
    @edps
    Forumite Points: 16,283

    Actually the latest Beeb video taken from a high angle shows lightning flashes in the ‘smoke’ of the initial fire. To me that suggests a very high particle density in the smoke, so grain dust may indeed be a factor. The lightning would also give enough energy to initiate a potent detonation wave.

    #61153
    Participant
    keith with the teef
    @thinktank
    Forumite Points: 2,732

    Conspiracy theroy time: Some has been planing this for years. Maybe the Cubans.

    #61158
    Participant
    Ed P
    @edps
    Forumite Points: 16,283

    The many different video clips will provide enough detail for a pretty good analysis of what initiated the explosion and enable any Cubans to be spotted I suspect that the Beirut explosion will form a text-book example for future University Fire Risk courses.

    The linked Guardian article shows that the root cause of the disaster was bureaucratic cock-up and inept organisation rather than terrorist conspiracy.

    #61163
    Participant
    Ed P
    @edps
    Forumite Points: 16,283

    Ars has some good before and after views of ground zero for the explosion. link

Viewing 18 replies - 1 through 18 (of 18 total)
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.