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Tragedy In Waco


tyler90az

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Mixed reports - highest has been 60 dead 100 injured - fertlizer may explode

CNN's most recent (posted at 2 AM) is lower:
A massive explosion at a fertilizer plant in the small Texas town of West left at least two people dead, sent dozens more seeking medical attention and prompted a widescale evacuation in the community of 2,600 people.
http://www.cnn.com/2013/04/17/us/texas-explosion/index.html

lots of pictures and vid:

http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/explosion-hits-fertilizer-plant-north-waco-texas-article-1.1319844

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I don't understand how an explosion could level four blocks with 50-75 houses plus an apartment building at eight at night and only a couple of people were killed?

Whatever the real reports are, it's a tragedy, especially for such a small town.

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Update:

Rescue workers searched rubble early Thursday for survivors of a fertilizer plant explosion in a small Texas town that killed as many as 15 people and injured more than 160 others. The blast left the factory a smoldering ruin and leveled homes and businesses for blocks in every direction....Swanton said authorities believe that between five and 15 people were killed in the blast, but stressed that is an early estimate. There is no indication the blast was anything other than an industrial accident, he said.Among those believed to be dead: Three to five volunteer firefighters and a single law enforcement officer who responded to a fire call at the West Fertilizer Co. shortly before the blast. A thunderstorm rolled through the area as the hunt for those still unaccounted for continued early Thursday.

http://www.nydailyne...ticle-1.1319844

When the size of the town is only 2800, that is a large percentage of the population dead or injured....let alone left homeless. Hopefully they will be able to recover and the plant will have insurance coverage to help the town rebuild.

Since they are still in search and rescue mode which means I assume they are still looking through the houses, I would be very surprised if they didn't find more dead out there. Hopefully today they will be able to finish up getting to the injured, it will likely take much longer to discover all those who are dead, especially if they weren't able to evacuate the factory completely before it blew.

It is so hard to read the personal reports, it must have been terrifying to experience and still terrifying waiting for word on the missing and wondering what is going to happen to one's life next....

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This seems to coincidental to be an accident. Especially with it being the 20th anniversary of Waco.

They appear to be pretty certain it was an accident, but it is probably early to make that assumption unless they have already been able to get into the factory for a thorough examination which I would be surprised that they could do just overnight without making sure it was secure.
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Correlation isn't causation. But I'd be most interested in why a large fertilizer plant was so close to residential areas, and why that plant hadn't been inspected in over five years.

It seems pretty obvious, since you can make a bomb out of fertilizer, that such plants shouldn't be built in towns.

Makes me wonder if the plant was built a long time ago before people paid a lot of attention to such things.

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One of the many relief efforts being started up: http://rangersblog.dallasnews.com/2013/04/texas-rangers-to-aid-victims-of-west-texas-explosion.html/

So many firefighters and medics descended on the town to help its all-volunteer force that the Texas public safety department said that no more assistance was needed.

"The firefighters and EMS people are coming from hundreds of miles away to help us," said Wilson of the department. "Right now, we are overflowing with help. "

http://www.cnn.com/2013/04/18/us/texas-explosion/index.html
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The plant was built in 1962. Fertilizer has been recognized as potentially explosive since before the early 1920's. Don't know when West; Texas came into being, but even a lick of sense says homes, and houses near explosive materials is a dangerous mix.

You'd think, but common sense doesn't always go very far.

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If you feel it's inappropriate, feel free to delete the vids.

Drive thru of immediate aftermath. Seems they went to see what happened and to check on a friend/relative. Second part has devastated apartment complex where friend relative/lives. Neighborhood heavily damaged. Non graphic (no blood, no bodies except one child who seems to have been slightly injured). Disturbing. Strong Language (expressions of dismay).

[media=]

A train exploded in Dallas back in the 80's when I was growing up. Absolutely shook our house. Very similar but I don't recall neighborhoods being this close.

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There is a Nuclear Generating station fifteen minutes from my city. Buckeye is one of the fastest growing cities in America. Houses have even started being built again.

Not a problem. Nuclear reactors don't explode. Their steam or liquid metal heat transfer systems might, but that's a much lesser event.

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Not a problem. Nuclear reactors don't explode. Their steam or liquid metal heat transfer systems might, but that's a much lesser event.

Steam generated from a malfunctioning Nuclear reactor can damage the plant to the extent that radionuclides are released. IE; TMI, Chernobyl, and Fukushima.

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Not a problem. Nuclear reactors don't explode. Their steam or liquid metal heat transfer systems might, but that's a much lesser event.
Steam generated from a malfunctioning Nuclear reactor can damage the plant to the extent that radionuclides are released. IE; TMI, Chernobyl, and Fukushima.

Indeed. Never implied otherwise.

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Correlation isn't causation. But I'd be most interested in why a large fertilizer plant was so close to residential areas, and why that plant hadn't been inspected in over five years.

The article I read in the newspaper says that when the plant was built it was farther away from residential areas, but in the 50ish years since then the town has grown out to meet it. As to the inspection, apparently the state of regulation of these type plants is very chaotic, with some agencies caring about one or two aspects, others about other aspects, and none of them coordinating with each other.

I bet the state of Texas does something about getting their inspection ducks in a row now.

It is too bad that it takes negative consequences like this to drive safety. But this is generally the way it works everywhere.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Mixed reports - highest has been 60 dead 100 injured - fertlizer may explode

These types of plants are Class I, Division I, of the National Electrical Code, Article 500 and 501. I teach this topic often, but the wiring method is very expensive so many companies cut corners. All it takes is a small arc or spark and bad things happen. :(
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