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Thread: Tianjin China explosion, could it happen here.

  1. #1
    Cyburbian michaelskis's avatar
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    Tianjin China explosion, could it happen here.

    By now we have seen some of the photos and videos of the explosion in the port area of Tianjin China. The amount of physical damage is amazing and I am amazed that there were not more people killed. One of the first things that I thought of is "This is why we separate uses and have setback requirements."

    Looking at the map, the explosion happened as far from residential locations as it could be. However, it made me wonder if there are US ports that have similar storage situations? Could something like this happen in the US and if so, what would be the result? Finally, these were hazardous chemicals. What will be the environmental impact? With the fire they go airborne and I wonder at what point will there be measurable impact on our west coast?
    Trusting a DC politician with your money is like trusting a hungry dog with a raw steak.

  2. #2
    Cyburbian Planit's avatar
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    There are a lot more stringent controls over here to prevent this type of disaster. I was speaking to a Chinese national who works over here and she said that it didn't surprise her. In several cases there is no oversight or safety measures in place - or those that are in place are minimal.

    That's not saying it couldn't happen here, just that the possibility is ALOT lower.
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  3. #3
    moderator in moderation Suburb Repairman's avatar
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    Well in Texas at least we've got a number of port examples. The petrochemical storage facilities in Texas City, near Houston, like to blow up somewhat regularly. Personally, I recall the 1991 Union Carbide explosion in Seadrift, near Victoria. It woke people 40 miles away, including us in Victoria. The blast broke windows in buildings 10-20 miles away.

    And then there is the fertilizer plant disaster in West, TX. It might be one of the best proofs of concept that those disasters can happen here. Imagine that same West blast in a place with actual urban densities.

    "Oh, that is all well and good, but, voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country."

    - Herman Göring at the Nuremburg trials (thoughts on democracy)

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    Cyburbian Plus JNA's avatar
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    It has happened here -


    Texas City Disaster
    On 16 April 1947, the SS Grandcamp, loaded with 8,500 short tons (7,700 t) of ammonium nitrate, exploded in port at Texas City, Texas. 581 died, over 5,000 injured. Using standard chemical data for decomposition of ammonium nitrate makes this equivalent to 2.7 kilotons of TNT exploding.[Note 1] The US Army rates the relative effectiveness factor of ammonium nitrate, compared to TNT, as 0.42.[25] This conversion factor makes the blast equivalent to (0.42)7,770 tons, or 3.2 kilotons of TNT, with the discrepancy between the total energy and relative effectiveness value of the explosive power being due to direct comparisons between high explosives not being as simplistic as comparing total internal energy of each high explosive.
    This is generally considered the worst industrial accident in United States history.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Larges...rld_War_II_era
    http://www.history.com/this-day-in-h...s-581-in-texas
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Texas_City_disaster
    Oddball
    Why don't you knock it off with them negative waves?
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    Why don't you say something righteous and hopeful for a change?
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  5. #5
    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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    Al those damned unnecessary volumes of federal regulations from agencies with acronyms (OSHA....EPA...etc) greatly reduce the chances of this sort of thing happening here.
    People will miss that it once meant something to be Southern or Midwestern. It doesn't mean much now, except for the climate. The question, “Where are you from?” doesn't lead to anything odd or interesting. They live somewhere near a Gap store, and what else do you need to know? - Garrison Keillor

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    Unfrozen Caveman Planner mendelman's avatar
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    Google - Pepcon in Nevada in 1991.

    Fertilizer plant go boom.
    I'm sorry. Is my bias showing?

    The ends can justify the means.

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    Cyburbian The One's avatar
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    Beat me to it.....

    That Texas example.....well you know.........

    The greatest industrial explosion ever in the USA......Texas AGAIN:
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/0...n_3110081.html
    "The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness."
    John Kenneth Galbraith

  8. #8
    Cyburbian Plus JNA's avatar
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    Close by geography -

    Lac-Mégantic rail disaster
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lac-M%..._rail_disaster
    Oddball
    Why don't you knock it off with them negative waves?
    Why don't you dig how beautiful it is out here?
    Why don't you say something righteous and hopeful for a change?
    From Kelly's Heroes (1970)


    Are you sure you're not hurt ?
    No. Just some parts wake up faster than others.
    Broke parts take a little longer, though.
    From Electric Horseman (1979)

  9. #9
    Cyburbian The One's avatar
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    Oh and.....

    Kingman Arizona (Devils Crotch of Arizona)

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kingman_Explosion

    Killed 11
    "The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness."
    John Kenneth Galbraith

  10. #10
    Cyburbian dvdneal's avatar
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    Agreed about Kingman being the Devil's Crotch. That one was actually used against me in a planning hearing for a future rail yard.

    Here's a nice story about almost blowing up part of NY. The fallout, a 2.9 mile pier for the Earle Weapons Station. It sucks walking of the ship for liberty.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SS_El_Estero
    I don't pretend to understand Brannigan's Law. I merely enforce it.

  11. #11
    Channeling my native (and former) state: But, but, but those regulations will just kill jobs and cause the rates to go up.
    When did I go from Luke Skywalker to Obi-Wan Kenobi?

  12. #12
    Cyburbian Habanero's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Suburb Repairman View post
    Well in Texas at least we've got a number of port examples. The petrochemical storage facilities in Texas City, near Houston, like to blow up somewhat regularly. Personally, I recall the 1991 Union Carbide explosion in Seadrift, near Victoria. It woke people 40 miles away, including us in Victoria. The blast broke windows in buildings 10-20 miles away.

    And then there is the fertilizer plant disaster in West, TX. It might be one of the best proofs of concept that those disasters can happen here. Imagine that same West blast in a place with actual urban densities.
    What about the gas leak that blew up the school in East Texas back in the 30s? That came up again after the West explosion.

    http://www.history.com/this-day-in-h...ldren-in-texas
    When Jesus said "love your enemies", he probably didn't mean kill them.

  13. #13
    Cyburbian Plus JNA's avatar
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    We had a thread about West, Texas -

    Texas Fertilizer Plant Explosion http://www.cyburbia.org/forums/showt...l=1#post675276
    Oddball
    Why don't you knock it off with them negative waves?
    Why don't you dig how beautiful it is out here?
    Why don't you say something righteous and hopeful for a change?
    From Kelly's Heroes (1970)


    Are you sure you're not hurt ?
    No. Just some parts wake up faster than others.
    Broke parts take a little longer, though.
    From Electric Horseman (1979)

  14. #14
    Cyburbian Doohickie's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by JNA View post
    We had a thread about West, Texas -

    Texas Fertilizer Plant Explosion http://www.cyburbia.org/forums/showt...l=1#post675276
    Yep, that came to mind. And just yesterday, Conroe, TX.

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