A NEW CASTLE, DELAWARE, NEIGHBORHOOD was getting ready for a special trash pickup Tuesday with folks setting out those larger items that don't fit, etc. for the trash man. One lady carried out an old ammunition box that had belonged to her late husband and set it in the pile, too.
A neighbor from across the street asked if he could have the box. After getting her permission he took it across the street and placed it on a pickup truck tailgate. As he opened the box a mortar shell went off, covering him in shrapnel.
The ammo box still rests on the tailgate
following the explosion. (News Journal photo)
The man is in critical but stable condition at Christiana Hospital.
Explosive experts from Dover Air Force Base have been called to help after officials believe they found more explosives. Nearby homes were being evacuated shortly after noon.
"Because they think it has to do with military ordnance they are bringing up Dover Air Force Base," said Michael G. Chionchio, assistant state fire marshal. "So we are at a stand down now waiting for Dover Air Force Base to assist [New Castle] County EOD."
Chionchio said a robot found two more items. "One definitely looks like a mortar round and one they’re not sure at the moment," Chionchio said.
Initially a 2-block area was evacuated as a precaution while the explosives team conducted its search.
A TANKER CARRYING 7,500 GALS. of diesel fuel overturned and caught on fire shortly after 6 am Thursday near Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. The 52-yr.-old driver was able to escape with just minor burns and was taken to the hospital.
The spectacular blaze was fueled by leaking product running along an overpass at a major interchange and caused I-81 to be shut down completely at Exit 67.
A witness to the crash, Patty Wachter of Dauphin, emailed PennLive about what she saw: "I was traveling Route 322 east taking the ramp to merge onto 81 and I heard a metallic sound. I looked to my left and the truck was sliding on its side and burst into flames. The fireball was huge and creating a cloud of dark black smoke.
"I saw a car that was following the tanker and hoped he got stopped. When I came around the bend I looked in my rearview mirror and there was a wall of fire and smoke from the road/ground up.
"I was just praying that everyone would get stopped before they hit it and that the driver got out alive. It was horrific."
Damage to the bridge was extensive and expected to keep the entire interchange closed at least through Sunday. Long term repairs could take months and cost upwards of $10 million.
The Cumberland County Sentinel has more details plus a full explanation of how the traffic flow of 100,000 vehicles per day will be rerouted around the shut down portion HERE.
MCFDTV posted this collection of raw videos, some taken before the arrival of FD while the roadway was still carrying traffic:
Update Sunday am: Casualties starting to appear. Scroll down for update:
The accident occurred around 2 am Saturday morning between the towns of Schellebelle and Wetteren. The train with 13 cars came from the Netherlands and was going to Gent-Zeehaven, the maritime port of Ghent. Six of the thirteen cars derailed, two are lying on their sides and three others caught on fire but the fire is under control.
Fire has however caused explosions in the cars and forced the authorities to arrange for the evacuation of residents who live near the track
The fire cars contain acrylonitrile, a toxic substance, said firefighters. Traces of cyanide escaped cars on fire (cars one, two and five), a carcinogen that can be absorbed into the bloodstream. Teams of firefighters from Beveren measures are on-site. Currently, there is no danger to public health. Anti-cyanures kits have been provided to individuals would be exposed, but the release of smoke is not dangerous for the population. Two other cars contain of butadiene, five are empty and one was carrying light metals. This last is not on fire.
Extra water supply was pumped from drafting engines at the river.
Local residents were evacuated within a radius of 500 metres around the cars to two places. Within a radius of 1,000 meters, people should keep doors and Windows closed. Black smoke is visible from afar and is located above the village of Schellebelle and Wichelen. The SPF public health is on the scene also.
The provincial disaster plan was still in place Saturday afternoon. The Governor of East Flanders Jan Briers believes that the controlled burning of cars will definitely last until Saturday night. The operations of extinguishment and water containing traces of toxic substances is being discharged into sewers. The fire brigade has the fire contained and is allowing it to burn itself out.
The derailment occurred while the train was being switched from one track to another in the yards.
Fumes from the chemicals spread much further via a drainage system and authorities had to evacuate nearly 300 more people from their homes.
Many of the victims were people living well away from the scene of the accident, and Belgium's interior minister Joelle Milquet blamed the toxic fumes.
"There are two problems," she said. "There are the cars that derailed with this chemical product and which are ablaze, so there is a problem of poisoning linked to the smoke. The fire is under control but it will burn a while longer. But there is also another reaction.
"Some of the chemical product went into the drains and caused a kind of chemical reaction with gases that are toxic and escaped into certain streets beyond the perimeter that had already been evacuated due to the fire," she told the press.
EARLY MONDAY MORNING THE LUDENSCHEID, Germany, fire brigade was called to a freight forwarding depot for a truck on fire.
On arrival they found a loaded trailer fully involved in what at first appeared to be a routine fire of its type. As they were knocking the fire down with heavy hose streams, the water runoff was going into the storm sewer and, unknown to the firefighters, was carrying some escaping diesel fuel with it. While the fire was still smoldering, the firefighters began unloading the trailer to get to the hot spots and remaining fire pockets.
A short while later, smoke started coming from the sewer openings and not long after that reports of respiratory problems started coming in from not only the police and fire people, but many residents in the area. Determining that there was a toxicity in the smoke, the fire brigade ordered an evacuation of the entire area around the truck yard. Buses were brought in to provide shelter for 150 residents as the toxic cloud started traveling through the neighborhood.
Approximately 65 residents were complaining of respiratory distress and were taken to hospitals for blood gasses testing. Also, 35 firefighters and 13 policemen were treated, complaining of burning sensation in their throats, headaches and nausea. Once that began, the firefighters were withdrawn from the immediate area.
Come-On.de News posted this video report from the scene:
It was later learned that the diesel-saturated water runoff had caused a chemical reaction with a fiberglass-reinforced plastic conduit in the sewer that started burning underground and generating the toxic smoke.
Early investigation by the police indicates that the fire was probably an arson.
Massive Explosion and Fire Levels One Building,
Damages Eight Others.
A HUGE EXPLOSION THAT ROCKED an industrial park near Vernal, Utah, was felt for as many as 30 miles away early Saturday morning.
The blast occurred shortly after midnight at the Adler Hot Oil Services headquarters and immediately leveled one building while heavily damaging eight others. Two homes in the area also received some damage.
The explosion in the Ashley Valley Industrial Park destroyed one building and damaged eight others, said Chief Todd Wallis, with the Jensen Fire Department. There were no reports of anyone hurt or killed by the explosion.
The large blast shook much of the Basin and flooded the central dispatch center with calls from residents. It occurred around 12:15 a.m. Crews arrived on the scene and immediately began searching the area surrounding the explosion.
An evacuation order was issued for everybody within a half-mile radius of the explosion. Fire crews brought the blaze under control within hours, but the evacuation order was expected to remain in place until noon Saturday, as crews are still dealing with a leaky propane tank at the scene.
The leaking tank is reported to be a 1,000 gal. propane tank.
The fire was knocked down after "a few" hours, but units were being kept on the scene until the propane tank problem was mitigated. It was expected to be resolved by 1 pm Mountain. The tank is believed to have been damaged by the explosion and not a cause of the accident.
No word on what caused the explosion, but Uintah County Emergency Manager Tal Ehlers told Fox 13 there are no fatalities or injuries. Everyone living within a 1/2 mile radius of the blast site was evacuated.
The Red Cross has a temporary shelter on stand-by at Vernal Middle School at 721 West 100 South in Vernal. We talked with Red Cross Director of Communications Teresa Zundel who issued this statement: "The Red Cross works around the clock to help Utahns in need. We have a shelter open for evacuees at Vernal Middle School. People can come for food, shelter or information. We will be here in Vernal as long as we are needed."
Have you ever had a fire in a Porta-Potty? You hear about them once in a while and the newspapers seem to enjoy mentioning them, but they are relatively rare. There are not many ignition hazards in them other than the occasional arson and perhaps a pocket of methane.
My sole experience with one kind of sneaked up on us. It was after dark and the throne room in question was in a wooded area for some strange reason. I still don't know why it was there, but the call came in as a woods fire, so it was a 1-engine dispatch. We could see flames back in the trees, so we drove as close as we could get and pulled the booster line about a hundred feet or so to the now-dwindling flames and put it out. We still didn't know what it was because by then the fire had completely melted the fiberglass structure and all we saw was a puddle of something flammable.
After pulling a Circle-D into the fire zone to get a better look around, it was eventually deduced that we had just been tromping around one of Don's Johns. Immediate boot inspection commenced along with some audible "Yeck!s" and other descriptive exclamations I won't put into print. But we weren't done yet. After cleaning up and making sure there would be no rekindle. We rewound the booster and then found out that the pumper was stuck in the forest floor. That led to a half-hour wait for a tow truck to get there and pull us out. The smallest fire of the month gave us the largest aggravation. Talk about a boat load of sh*t.
But times have certainly changed since then and hazards of all types are greater now than we had our potty-in-the-trees episode. For instance, let's look at a golf course in Purcell, Oklahoma, that has a Porta-Potty mid-course for the golfers' convenience.
This past Tuesday the groundskeepers discovered three strange "sports drink" bottles containing unusual chemicals inside the break room, so they called the police. Before the cops arrived on the scene two of the bottles exploded, adding to the suspicions of the onlookers. After making sure the third bottle was neutralized, the detectives concluded that the hideaway was the site of someone's "pop-up" meth lab where a quick "shake-and-bake" concoction was being made, and probably used while sitting unobserved in the drab waiting room.
The investigators have a lead on a suspect and KFOR-TV has a video report with some views of the crime scene:
Remember that on the next time you have to make a dash to the nearest. You have to check out every place before you step in it nowadays.
Now let's check out our own danger zones and get this equipment check taken care of. I'll get some more non-explosive coffee going for us while the Sunday breakfast is cooking. See you back in the day room when it's ready.
Around 7:40 a.m., a loud explosion occurred at the Air Liquide plant at 11450 W. Fairmont Parkway, just west of Bay Area Boulevard. The blast, which occurred in a metal building on the site, triggered a fire that filled the area with heavy smoke. About 15 to 20 employees were believed to be on site at the time, a company spokesman said.
Rescue workers brought in heavy equipment and searched for hours before recovering the body. "There's been a lot of structural collapse inside so we've got a lot of safety issues," said Lt. Dean Hensley with the Harris County Fire Marshal's Office.
Gases, including oxygen, nitrogen and argon, are mixed at the plant into cylinders that are used in the processing of such items as food, beverages and electronics, according to a company spokesman.
Air Liquide describes itself as "the world leader in gases for industry, health and the environment." Headquartered in Houston, the company has more than 200 locations, including about 130 gas plants and 2,000 miles of pipeline, the website states.
KPRC-TV provided some raw video from the blast site:
Between 10 to 20 employees were inside the plant, and soon after it happened, we got word that one worker had been injured and another was missing. Search crews spent the next several hours searching for him — until finally, a body was discovered Saturday evening.
Dean Hensley with the Harris County Fire Marshal's Office said the medical examiner hasn't yet identified the body. But late Saturday evening, his family says they received word from authorities that 30-year-old Javier Ortiz is the worker that was found dead.
"We just ask for prayers for our family, from Houstonians and for God to help us in this difficult time," his wife, Julie Ortiz said. She says she and her husband have three children, aged 3, 5, and 7.
"I just want everyone to know he's a wonderful father of three and he's loved very much," she said. "We're very active in our church. We're good people. He's a chemist and I'm a teacher at a high school."
Emergency responders used a canine unit from CyFair Fire Department, heavy equipment and a HAZMAT team to search for him, but the mission wasn't easy. In fact, his body was still buried under the rubble by 10pm Saturday. Investigators say they're having trouble getting it out.
A second employee was injured the blast. He was taken by LifeFlight to UTMB's burn unit in Galveston, where his family says he is in critical condition.
That man's family say he's suffered burns to more than 75 percent of his body, and he's not speaking right now. They say the victim worked at the plant for at least 10 years and has two daughters.
KTRK-TV also filed this video report:
KTRK-TV has additional details and more videos posted HERE.
A CHEMICAL REACTION WITH A KA-BOOM AND FLASH fire burned two employees at an environmental industrial waste facility early Friday morning.
Around 3:45 am, four workers at the Environmental Enterprises, Inc., plant in Cincinnati, Ohio, were cleaning used filters prior to their being shredded when the accident occurred. The filters were laden with sodium chlorate which is sensitive to friction when something caused a spark and the resulting reaction.
Cincinnati Fire District Chief Mike Zimmerman said four workers working an overnight shift at Environmental Enterprises inc. at 4650 Spring Grove Avenue were shredding industrial air filters when an explosion and fire started. One worker was critically burned and remains in critical condition at University Hospital. A second worker also injured by the explosion is in stable condition at the hospital.
Sprinklers in the facility limited the fire but water was nearing Sodium Chlorite which is water reactive and can explode on contact with water, said Zimmerman. This created firefighting problems.
The haz-mat teams were also on the scene. Air quality was checked and no excessive limits were found. The fire units continued with mop up work on the hot spots and checking for extensions.
"Fire Sounds Like a Jet Plane Flying Over the Roof"
* * *
A 20-INCH NATURAL GAS TRANSMISSION LINE blew in Sissonville, West Virginia, Tuesday afternoon and started a large fire that consumed five houses.
The rupture ripped open around 12:40 pm in the small town near Charleston and brought life in the area to a standstill as the ear-splitting roar of the fire and 75-ft. high flames dominated the neighborhood. The Associated Press reports:
Four (now five) homes went up in flames and collapsed in charred heaps Tuesday after a natural gas line exploded in an inferno that raged for at least an hour, melting guardrails and pavement on a swath of Interstate 77.
Trevor Goins lives about a half-mile from the explosion and was watching television in his apartment when he saw a ripple in his coffee cup and the floor shook. "I thought possibly (it was) a plane crash," said Goins, who immediately went outside with several neighbors. "It was so loud it sounded like a turbine engine. You almost had to put your hands over your ears."
"The flames were so high, they were so massive," he said. "I could only imagine what had happened." Carper said the flames spanned about a quarter of a mile and ran through a culvert under the interstate.
"It actually cooked the interstate," he said. "It looks like a tar pit." A roughly 800-foot section both directions was baked by the heat. "It turned the asphalt to cinder," he said, after walking across it. "Your feet were hot. It was like walking on a volcano."
The gas supplier Columbia Gas Transmision had the pipeline shut down relatively quickly, but it took nearly an hour for the pressure to drop and for the gas to burn off.
Miraculously, despite the heavy destruction there were no reported injuries other than two people who had minor smoke inhalation. Nor were there an vehicles on that stretch of the Interstate when it blew.
As soon as the fire died out, work crews went to work repairing the gas line while highway workers began scraping away the asphalt from the highway down to the concrete base. New asphalt is being applied tonight and the highway department says that they expect to be able to reopen the Interstate sometime Wednesday night.
The Charleston Daily Mail has more details HERE plus a good video.
6 Million Pounds of M6 Propellant Left to the Elements
THE RESIDENTS OF DOYLINE, LOUISIANA, facing the possibility of an apocolyptic ka-boom, have relocated from their town to more distant shelters for safety's sake. Government inspectors, looking over a former munitions plant, found what at first was believed to be 1 million pounds of explosives that turned out to be 6 million pounds that was scattered and hidden away over the entire complex that is now a local industrial park.
Louisiana State Police photo
The 400-acre site that is problematic is under the control of Explo Systems, Inc., a business firm that disposes unwanted and/or outdated military explosives. An unexplained explosion on site in October that shook the entire town triggered an investigation by the Louisiana State Police, and it was their investgator that uncovered the huge cache of improperly-stored explosives. The State Police began removing the explosives this weekend but are concerned about the possibility of things like a lightning strike causing another ka-boom. So they called for a voluntary evacuation while they carried out the removal.
Officials estimate that more than half of Doyline's 800 residents heeded police advice to evacuate in advance of the cleanup at the Explo Systems Inc. site. Col. Mike Edmondson, commander of Louisiana State Police, said the material is stable and would need an ignition source to explode. The precautions were taken because officials fear that any spark could set off a huge explosion of the material, which they said was stored improperly in a relatively small area.
Edmondson was hesitant to estimate when it would be safe for Doyline residents to return home. He also said state police weren't sure how much damage an explosion of the material could cause, even after consulting with Department of Defense officials.
"Nobody can tell you what 6 million pounds of explosives would do if it went up," Edmondson said in a telephone interview. "And I don't want to find out."
Edmonson said that Explo Systems leases and controls about 400 acres of the 15,000-acre Camp Minden, a former ammunition plant that now is a state-owned industrial site and home to a National Guard training facility. He estimated that the M6 propellant was stored in an area of less than 10 acres. It was discovered there, stored indoors and outdoors, sometimes in containers that had spilled open, by a trooper following up on an October explosion at the facility.
Louisiana State Police photo
Authorities had initially estimated the total of M6 stored at the site at 1 million pounds after the first investigator saw cardboard boxes on long rows of pallets behind a building. Police found more stacked in sheds and warehouses when crews returned Saturday to begin moving the boxes into bunkers about two miles away on the former munitions site, state police spokesman Capt. Doug Cain said Sunday.
"It wasn't in their storage magazines. They had it hidden on the property, away from the storage magazines where we would expect to find it," Cain said.
Edmonson said "it was stuffed in corners. It was stacked all over."
Explo is now the subject of a criminal investigation, state police said.
This aerial video of the hidden stash was taken by the Louisiana State Police:
By Sunday night police and Explo employees had removed approx. 1 million pounds of the explosives and segregated another 240,000 lbs. A police spokesman says that he expects to be able to lift the evacuation order by Tuesday evening.
State police are continuing their investigation into when and how the powder came to be stored outdoors and in open air buildings. Explo’s vice president of operations has worked with state police since the beginning of the investigation, however, the owners have been in South Korea and are expected to return to the country today, Edmonson said. Explo’s manufacturing operations have been suspended, but powder is still be sold and distributed to buyers.
The powder is being loaded onto 18-wheelers (27 are involved in the operation) and trucked about two miles across the reservation to bunkers. So far, no incidents or injuries have occurred.
"It’s safe when its shipped and packaged properly," Edmonson said. "It’s in its safest form. We’re comfortable with working with it. Our concern is there’s so much of it in a small area. That’s the one thing you don’t want to do with this product."
The South Jersey Times is on the scene and should be updating regularly HERE.
Update, 4:30 pm:
The immediate threat has eased and rail officials are trying to determine what caused the derailment. Whether the bridge collapse causded the derailment, of the derailing rail cars caused the bridge to fail will take some time to determine.
The train – now identified as a CSX Railroad train operating on Conrail trackage - had 84 cars in its consist. Of the seven or eight that went off the tracks, four of them were tankers carrying vinyl chloride in liquid form. Only one of the tankers was leaking and it appears to have ceased, so the main hazard is over. USA Today reports:
"There are cars that are in precarious position," Larry Hajna, a New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection spokesman said at a briefing. "When they have to start moving these cars, you want to make sure they're protected."
The vinyl chloride leak from that car appears to have stopped, Hajna said. "It doesn't appear to be any immense threat" now, he said.
The train with two locomotives, 82 freight cars and a caboose was making its way from Camden to the industrial town of Paulsboro, just across the Delaware River from Philadelphia International Airport. Cars went off the rails on a swing-style bridge, owned by Conrail, over Mantua Creek. One tanker containing 25,000 gallons of vinyl chloride was sliced open in the accident and some of the gas spewed into the air, while the rest turned into a solid and settled into the bottom of the tanker.
People who live nearby said the air was smoky and had a sweet chemical smell for part of the morning. More than 40 people were hospitalized, most complaining of breathing problems after the accident. Eleven people were transported to Underwood-Memorial Hospital, and 31 more arrived on their own, according to spokeswoman Karen Urbaniak.
By late morning, state Department of Environmental Protection spokesman Larry Hajna said that sensors were not measuring any amounts of the chemical at the site.By late morning, state Department of Environmental Protection spokesman Larry Hajna said that sensors were not measuring any amounts of the chemical at the site.
* * * * * * *
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WE ARE SEEING MORE AND MORE of these types of transit buses all over, not just North America, but in Europe and some Asian countries as well.
That big, box thingy on the roof is the fuel tank for the compressed natural gas that is used to propel these coaches. Naturally, firefighters immediately begin thinking "fire problems here" when we see that. How about the relief valve on that tank? Do you know where it is? We are accustomed to overheated or overpressured tanks venting at the top, in the valve assembly usually.
But how about these buses? No indication of the vent or fill valve at a glance. So if you have some in your response area, have you taken the time to find out where they are?
Chief Billy G. sent along this video of a CNG-powered bus in Wassenaar, Netherlands, that vented after the firefighters were on the scene. Think about this and pass it along:
SLAUGHTER, LOUISIANA, FIREFIGHTERS along with other Baton Rouge area departments are mopping up this morning (Monday) after a major fire in a local chemical research facility completely destroyed the building.
Reportedly nobody was at the facility when the fire started. (WAFB)
The incident involved the Monolyte Laboratory, a biochemical research center that deals with environmentally friendly chemicals.
The fire was discovered shortly before 1:30 am Central and had a full grip on the building when the FD arrived. Firefighting efforts were directed at containing the fire to the property and evacuating the nearby residents.
WAFB-TV tells us:
As of 5 a.m., officials said the fire was mostly contained, but crews were still working on hotspots. Firefighters were able to keep the flames from spreading beyond the plant.
The cause of the fire has not been determined.
"The cleanup is going to be a major issue of the facility," Jackson explained. "It was a total loss, totally engulfed and protecting the property around it, the other properties, and I think there's going to be somewhat of an environmental impact. That'll be addressed and I'm sure DEQ will be on that."
Jackson added no one was on site when the fire started and no injuries were reported.
WAFB-TV has some fire footage in this early video report from the scene:
A FUEL TANKER CRASHED INTO A BRIDGE IN RIYADH, Saudi Arabia, Thursday and exploded. According to news reports the crash caused an immediate leak in the tank which qran into a nearby warehouse where it ignited and blew up the building. The blast killed at least 22 people and injured another 135 or more.
Al Arabiya TV
Besides the destroyed building, the collateral damage included several other structures and scores of cars and trucks that were caught in the blast zone.
AN ACCIDENTAL FIRE IN AN INDUSTRIAL burner led to a large explosion at a biofuel plant in Pretoria, South Africa, Wednesday. The ka-boom ignited leaking fuel and started a "river of fire" running through the industrial park that destroyed three plants.
IOL News reports from Pretoria:
A massive explosion at a biofuel factory in Pretoria North on Wednesday sent about 200 000 litres of burning oil in a lava-like stream into neighbouring factories, destroying everything in their path.
A cloud of black smoke could be seen from kilometres away as Tshwane Emergency Services personnel worked tirelessly to extinguish the rapidly spreading fire, which broke out at Marleda Oil.
Tshwane emergency services spokesman Johan Pieterse said the fire began at about 2.30pm. The cause was unclear but it was suspected a burner caught fire, leading to the explosion, he said.
Pieterse explained oil freely flowed from the containers after the explosion. The fire spread quickly, destroying several other factories as well as cars and a flatbed truck. "As the oil spread, it caught fire and it was difficult to contain. We had seven fire trucks and three water tankers attending," he said.
AN ACCIDENT AT A KRAFT FOODS PROCESSING PLANT in Lower Saxony, Germany, Monday night created a nightmarish haz-mat situation in the small town of Bad Fallingbostel. It is reported that the problem began when 14,000 litres of caustic soda were mistakenly poured into a tank that already contained 10,000 litres of nitric acid. The reaction started a release of a toxic cloud and began a heat and pressure build-up in the tank.
The fire brigade was immediately notified and they called for a full evacuation and began setting up master streams to cool the tank. The dispatch rose to 700 firefighters to set up a heavy fire flow to the tanks and provide the large quantity of water plus begin the massive evacuation. Initially they started with the 250 employees and 800 citizens in the immediate area. The evacuation zone was soon enlarged and an additional 1,000 people needed to be removed and transported to safe havens. A contingent of British soldiers that are stationed at a nearby base were brought in to assist the police and rescue workers with the evacuations.
An orange toxic cloud was released from the tank and it began traveling toward the town. The vapor was extremely dangerous if it came in contact with skin or inhaled.
The effort to relieve the danger and mitigate the incident was necessarily slow and costly. The haz-mat teams had to be rotated every 20 minutes and their special suits began wearing out and more called to be delivered to the scene. Eventually the available stock was running low. The teams were pumping out the acid mixture to remove it from the area. Once that operation was completed, the emergency was over.
With all the hazardous materials and actions taking place, amazingly there were no injuries reported. Late Tuesday afternoon the evacuation order was lifted and people could return to their homes.
RT provided this raw video covering different facets of the operation:
RT News has a good report HERE.
The Local.de had MORE.
A SERIES OF THUNDEROUS EXPLOSIONS WRACKED a military testing facility in central Russia on Tuesday. Russia Today posted this snippet of raw videos taken by citizens in the areas around the site near Orenburg:
The blast was felt up to 50 km away as thousands of windows were blown out in nearby towns. Two towns closest to the facility were evacuated for a while until the danger was believed to be over.
The Ministry of Dis-information initially said that only three shells had exploded, but you can see from the video that is obviously false. It was later revealed that as much as 4,000 tons of shells had detonated. The M. of D-I. also announced that there were no injuries, again doubtful after seeing the severity and breadth of the blasts. Witnesses nearby told the press of large numbers of ambulances carrying victims away to hospitals that are claiming that they have received no victims.
Only 3 shells, not enough to cause any injuries (RIA Novosti)
Scuttlebut from the blast area is saying that an incident of some sort occurred on a loading dock where old shells were being loaded onto rail cars to be taken away for disposal. The incident, perhaps a fire, led to three railcars blowing up in the initial blast that led to several others. It also started a brush fire in the nearby dead grass.
RT has a thorough early report on what is known so far HERE along with more photos.
RT also broadcast this video report over their tv network:
Update, Tuesday 1 pm Eastern: Additional video posted and later news added. Scroll down.
A WINNIPEG, MANITOBA, PLANT WAS destroyed overnight when a fire traveled unhindered through an auto racing fuel factory. Firefighters were unable to get hose lines close enough for several hours as a constant stream of explosions involving barrels filled with fuel continued.
The entire city knew that something major was going on (CTV / Jackson)
CBC / Visser
The business involved is the Speedway International Inc., which manufactures Pro Comp Racing Methanol racing fuel. Speedway International’s website describes the company as "North America’s #1 source for 99.99% racing methanol." The fuel is used in Indy car racing and drag racing.
For several hours the blaze was rapidly punctuated
with exploding barrels of methanol fuel. (CBC / Taylor)
The fire began around 5:30 pm Monday evening and burned through the night but has been knocked down. For about 8 hours or so, approximately 100 nearby homes were evacuated, but the residents were allowed to return shortly after midnight
CTV News reported:
Fifty-five fire fighters were on the scene through the ordeal. Officials said the fire was so hot at one point that it needed to burn itself and die down naturally before anything could be done.
Crews were forced to evacuate at one point during the extensive battle, even abandoning a fire truck at the scene, after a tanker truck exploded near the warehouse.
"We did have a tanker explode here earlier that sent flames about half-a-mile in the air," Winnipeg Fire Chief Reid Douglas told reporters Monday night. "It was pretty significant, and it caused us to rethink our strategy."
By late Monday night, the fire had died down enough to allow fire crews to return and douse the blaze.
CBC-TV has filed this video report:
At the time of this posting most of the fire units were still on the scene. No injuries have been reported and it is not yet known how or where in the facility the fire started.
CTV News has more details and video HERE.
CBC News has MORE.
Update, 1 pm Eastern:
The Winnipeg Free Press has posted this video that has an interview with the fire chief last night and some good fire footage:
The fire is out at Speedway International Inc., in St. Boniface this morning — but the damage estimate is in.
It's a $15-million dollar blaze, according to a spokesman for the Winnipeg Fire Paramedic Service this morning.
The cause of the fire — which sparked a massive explosion that could be seen from as far as 50 kilometres away — has not been determined. There were no injuries.
Winnipeg Fire Paramedic Chief Reid Douglas said Monday evening that fire crews could not get close enough to the fire to fight it offensively and backed off before a massive explosion occurred around 6:30 p.m. Douglas said a truck tanker containing 75,000 litres of methanol caught fire and exploded, sending flames 800 metres into the sky. After that, he said, about 55 firefighters went into "defensive mode" and established a perimeter to close off access to the blaze and keep any curious onlookers from getting too close.
Terry and Ron Cwik watched the tanker truck explode at the edge of Doucet Street. Ron Cwik said an orange fireball shot into the sky, and the heat was so intense he, his wife and others ran down the street to get away from it.
Late Monday, Douglas said the department's biggest concern was the risk of more explosions.
Two railcars adjacent to the building each contain 100,000 litres of fuel — one with biodiesel and one with methanol, he said.
Further updates will be posted whenever appropriate.
A FIREFIGHTER IN HIMEJI, JAPAN, was killed Saturday while
attacking a fire in a chemical factory.
Kyodo News Service
The fire was in the Nippon Shokubai Co. factory and fire crews were using hose streams on a burning tank of acrylic acid. About 40 minutes into the operation a large explosion occurred that fatally burned the 28-yr.-old FF Nagahiro Yamamoto and injured at least 30 others including 18 firefighters, 2 police officers and 10 plant employees. Japan Times tells us:
A male employee from the plant called the fire department at around 2:05 p.m. Saturday to alert authorities that an abnormal chemical reaction had sparked a fire, and that workers were going to try to extinguish the flames, the officials said.
Nippon Shokubai said the first explosion occurred at around 2:40 p.m. as fire fighters were spraying the acrylic acid tank with water, and another shortly afterward. The blasts also set ablaze one of the fire engines dispatched to the scene, according to the officials.
Nippon Shokubai is one of the world's biggest makers of acrylic acid, the main ingredient of a resin called SAP, which is used in (disposable) diapers. The plant produces about 20 percent of the world's SAP and 10 percent of global output of acrylic acid.
Kyodo News / AP
Operations at the plant are likely to be halted for a long time and other makers of SAP resins are operating on a full-production footing, leaving little room for back-up production, the Nikkei business daily said on Sunday.
Nippon Shokubai controls the largest share of the world market for super-absorbent polymers, which is used in the production of nappies, and has been expanding its international sales network to keep up with demand.
According to the company, demand is so high that its production facilities have been required to operate at full capacity and it has announced plans to set up production facilities overseas. The company was particularly keen to meet growing demand for disposable nappies in China.
The water-absorbing polymers soak up an infant's waste through hydrogen bonding with water molecules. Generally, nappies that utilise the technology are able to absorb 50 times their own weight of liquid. If the operation of the factory is suspended for a long time, it could affect production.
Before it was destroyed, the Himeji plant produced 320,000 tons of the super-absorbent polymer, according to the Sankei newspaper, about 20 per cent of the global share.
It took more than eight hours to put the fire out and there is yet no determination on what caused it.
NHK TV has some spectacular footage in this (English language) video report:
A FIRE BROKE OUT TUESDAY MORNING IN THE KREFELD, Germany, fertilizer plant of the COMPO corporation. The large plant is located alongside a shipping canal in the heart of the city but the air samples are showing no hazards in the smoke that is carrying for miles across the area.
The fire started from unknown cause around 7 am and has involved a warehouse, 280 metres long and 180 metres wide, and filled with thousands of tons of fertilizer including 20,000 tons of nitrogen phosphorus potash fertilizer and about 13,000 tons of raw materials. For a while the fire was threatening another building where ammonia is stored, but it appears to have been contained.
photo by Konigs
The alarm brought over 300 firefighters from around the entire region to the incident and at 10:20 am the fire officials declared that it was contained and under control. However they expect to be battling fire blaze well into Tuesday night at least.
Arson is not suspected, but it is too early to determine what did cause the fire to start. All the residents of Krefeld and neighboring Duisburg have been advised to stay inside as much as possible and keep their windows and doors closed. The heavily-pungent smoke is below hazardous-levels but precautions are being observed. The Rhine River traffic has also been suspended for the duration.
RP-Online has the STORY.
WAZ der Western has MORE.
Thanks to Christian Lewalter of Feurerwehr Weblog.
Several video reports have been filed:
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UPDATE, 4 PM Eastern: The fire is out and leak plugged. Scroll down.
A PROPANE DELIVERY TRUCK IN BUCKS County, Pennsylvania, rolled over following an accident Monday morning and began burning after the piping apparently split open rear pump valve was damaged and started leaking.
The exact cause of the wreck has not been determined yet, but there appears to be a sedan involved also. The responding fire units have set up ladder pipes and unmanned monitors to keep the tank cool while the product burns off, a process that will take several hours at least. At the time of this posting the propane was still burning.
The FD established a mandatory evacuation for a 1-mile radius from the incident.
WPVI-TV has posted this video report:
As long as it continues to burn without further incident, there is no other information expected until the accident investigation is concluded. If there are any new developments, Firegeezer will update.
Update, 4 pm Eastern:
The fire was reported out around 2 pm after a tank repair crew was in position to plug the leak. They knocked the fire down and sealed the leak around the valve while maintaining cooling streams. Another tanker has been brought in and the evacuation order remains in effect until the remaining product is transferred to the other truck and taken away. The original truck had a full load of 2,000 gallons of propane.
No injuries have been reported other than two people who were injured from the original collision. They were transported with non-life threatening injuries. Relief crews rotated during the incident and a load of diesel was brought in to keep the pumpers refueled.
BATON ROUGE FIREFIGHTERS and Louisiana officials were faced with a tough challenge Wednesday night at a dangerous haz-mat situation on I-10. The incident began when a car flipped on the Interstate and crashed into the median barrier. A tanker carrying 8,700 gallons of isobutane came to a stop at the accident and another tractor-trailer carrying beer rear-ended the tanker.
The collision caused a leak of the dangerous liquid at the damaged tank valves. Where normally the preferred mitigation would be to pump the product into a replacment tanker, this was not possible because the valves were unusable. Leaving the leak to continue was not an option. The State haz-mat authorities then decided that the only remedy was to do a controlled "vent and burn" procedure by blowing two holes in the tank and then igniting it for a controlled burn-off.
The rest of the afternoon and evening were spend bringing in truckloads of dirt to build containment dikes and barriers while the police evacuated an area of several hundred yards around the site including the cars stranded on the Interstate.
Finally around 11:30 pm the procedure was perfomed and several news videos recoreded the initial blast such as this one provided by Associated Press:
There were no injuries reported during the exercise and damage was limited to the immediate area around the accident scene. The Baton Rouge Advocatetells us:
Citations will probably be issued to two of the drivers involved in a Wednesday pileup on Interstate 10 that snarled traffic for hours throughout the capital city, a Baton Rouge police spokesman said Thursday morning.
Based on the results of a preliminary investigation, the driver of a car that lost control and hit a retaining wall before overturning on I-10 east near Essen Lane will be cited for either reckless operation of a vehicle or failure to maintain control of a vehicle, Cpl. L’Jean McKneely said.
The driver of an 18-wheeler that hit a tanker truck carrying isobutane and traveling behind the car will be cited with following too close, McKneely said.
The driver of the tanker will not be cited, he said.
A TANK TRUCK THAT HAD TAKEN A DETOUR was struck by a Union Pacific freight train early Thursday morning and was destroyed while starting a fire.
The crash happened around 1:30 am Central near Dallas in Wills Point, Texas, when the 8,000-gal. loaded tanker tried to take an alternate route from its assigned path. NBC News reports:
The (Van Zandt County) sheriff said a train was stopped on the tracks, blocking most of the intersections in town, so the driver of the tanker took a side road to get around it. But the route wasn't designed to handle 18-wheelers and the tanker ended up getting caught on the tracks.
Just as the tanker got stuck, a Union Pacific train slammed right into it, pushing it along the tracks. Flames erupted soon after the collision.
The tanker driver, two men on the train, a conductor and an engineer escaped without injuries.
The truck driver had bailed out just before the locomotive crashed into his rig.
The fire department controlled the fire quickly with foam applications and allowed the fuel to burn off. A few hours later, near daybreak the fire had gone out. No other damage has been reported.