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Massive blast rips through Beirut, killing 78 and injuring thousands

38 Comments
By Samia Nakhoul and Ellen Francis

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38 Comments
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That’s nuts. Like an atom bomb went off. My thoughts are with the people of Lebanon.

10 ( +10 / -0 )

"2,750 tonnes of ammonium nitrate were stored in a warehouse for six years without safety measures" - Aljazeera

Crazy considering there have been previous bombings in the area.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

Like an atom bomb went off.

Not even close. But a crazy explosion nevertheless. RIP to the dead.

5 ( +11 / -6 )

Just a Coincidence...not likely.

I was thinking even Hezbolla wouldn’t do something this despicable, not now.

The explosion occurred three days before a U.N.-backed court is due to deliver a verdict in the trial of four suspects from the Shi'ite group Hezbollah over a 2005 bombing which killed former Prime Minister Rafik al-Hariri and 21 other people.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

Really tragic. Beyrouth already had so many disasters.

"2,750 tonnes of ammonium nitrate were stored 

If that was the case that's odd. After Oklahoma in 1995 and AZF in 2001, the world was warned about that product. In Toulouse that was a plant producing it so they had what was considered a big amount, that was under 400 tons. Then a decade later, someone gathers 7 times the quantity in a boat garage ? Why that ?

4 ( +4 / -0 )

That explosion was huge! Scary!

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Inept govt to store explosives improperly AND where thousands of people would be harmed.

10 ( +10 / -0 )

How tragic.

Lebanon has always been caught in a power play among the regional powers.

So sad for the normal people.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

Apparently it was an accident, but the negligence in storing such a large amount of explosives so carelessly is criminal.

trump claims it's a bomb though, apparently some Generals told him!!!

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Trump and his "great" generals are saying that it was an attack, because they want it to be, but it looks like a tragic, perhaps avoidable, accident.

10 ( +11 / -1 )

trump claims it's a bomb though

Trump also claimed for years he had authoritative inside information that guaranteed Obama was from Kenya.

Trump claims a lot of thing, and proves almost none of them.

Total loser.

3 ( +11 / -8 )

Ammonium nitrate again, same as the Tianjin explosion a few years ago. Guess no lessons were learned from that event. What a disaster..

15 ( +15 / -0 )

Trump and his "great" generals are saying that it was an attack, because they want it to be

No, they don't want it to be, but it's possible. His generals were right on the whereabouts of the world's top two terrorists who got what they deserved, so they might be right on this.

5 ( +9 / -4 )

I don't know what to make of this, however, there are rumors there was a warehouse full of ammonium nitrate that blew up, Those rumors are BUNK. Ammonium nitrate needs an oxidizer added before it will explode. Something else did this. There are other reports that there was a large cache of "confiscated explosives" in the area, and that is what went off. The explosion was probably 5 kilotons or so and it lacked the atomic fireball so I really beg to question what on earth could blow up like that. However, since there was an ongoing fire before the blast, it might not have been Israel but that does not make the blast any less baffling. It seems like an impossible event.

The characteristics of the blast damage don't match a nuke, it looks like damage from a slow detonation or an explosion. However, I'd like to see confirmation there is no radioactive fallout after a blast of that magnitude, it seems impossible.

Best comment so far comes from Ayrman Mohyeldin, leader of the Arab Joint List in Israel and the anti-Netanyahu: "Tonight people in Beirut are going to sleep in shattered homes, during a deadly pandemic, with a collapsing economy led by corrupt politicians, surrounded by countries that have attacked & threatened them and a world that has abandoned them and their refugees. They deserve better."

-11 ( +3 / -14 )

Simian Lane

said

”like an Atom bomb went off”

Not that it was an Atom bomb!

Looking at the blast it did have similarities.

It pays to read the comments of other posters with more care I think...

-6 ( +5 / -11 )

Looking at the blast it did have similarities.

Such as?

4 ( +9 / -5 )

i am very sorry to see about this terrible event. I am also sorry that the authors of this articles felt the need to once again try to needle and fit criticism of President Trump into the article. The tragedy of the event is news enough. I will pray for healing.

9 ( +13 / -4 )

Is it because some people might want to create conflicting issues in Mideast to divert people's focus on domestic messy struggles?

Nowadays, like it or not, conspiracy has fast become a norm..

8 ( +10 / -2 )

6 years of neglect means there was most likely a lot of dust in the warehouse and the smallest spark could have started the burn. Once the burn began, it was only a matter of time before it exploded.

There was also, most likely, the element of moisture being near the sea. Dust, moisture and small spark are most likely what caused the explosion.

Therefore, a terrible accident due to years of neglect.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

Ammonium nitrate needs an oxidizer added before it will explode.

Not an oxidizer, a fule. Ammonium nitrate is the oxidizer in explosives. The fuel added to it is oxidized by the ammonium nitrate. usually fuel oil (to make ANFO), or nitromethane. However, in an unmixed state, if stored for years, the ammonium nitrate can decompose and become explosive by itself - this has already happened several times in history with catastrophic results. As pointed out above, that happened in Texas at the West Fertilizer Company Explosion in 2013, and the Tianjin disaster in 2015.

16 ( +16 / -0 )

There are numerous smartphone videos from different angles and distances on YouTube. I’ve seen a fair deal of explosions, and this one looks like a thermobaric or fuel-air explosion. Just my guess, I could be wrong.

The shock wave is consistent with aerosolized particle type explosives.

-5 ( +2 / -7 )

There was a huge fire before the explosion, thats why there are so many videos.

Hezbollah wouldn’t be blowing up its own power base, however a neighbouring country has been trying to undermine the Lebanese economy to pressure the Lebanese government of which Hezbollah is an active member. But in this case it seems to be nothing more than a senseless accident.

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

Terrible tragedy - our condolences to the people of Beirut...

But as soon as this occurred our Stable Genius President declared it was a "big bomb"....

"A "yuuuge" bomb, el-grande, enormous - larger than my hands bomb..."

"But not as big as my inauguration crowd"...

-2 ( +5 / -7 )

@Strangerland

In two words

’destructive power’

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

trump claims it's a bomb though, apparently some Generals told him!!!

Well, ammonium nitrate can be used as an explosive component of bombs, so unless the warehouse was a store of agricultural fertilizer, Trump isn't actually wrong.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

My scientist friend just posted this.

Points of comparison for Beruit:

~1000 x the Oklahoma City bombing

~10 x the West, Texas fertilizer explosion

~20% Hiroshima (assuming the ammonia nitrate has a similar yield to TNT)

Some of the videos coming out are just incredible ( in the negative sense) the shockwave and blast. Death toll is sadly climbing and will keep climbing, as they find more victims.

How more ticking time bombs like this exist around the world? Poorly stored materials in stupid locations?

9 ( +9 / -0 )

A thermobaric explosion can be caused by any kind of airborne combustible particle. It used to happen frequently in grain silos before anti-static earthing was standard.

I’m not suggesting it was intentional, there was a fire in the warehouse. That fire could have created a high concentration of volatile vapors.

-5 ( +3 / -8 )

This was no accident.

-10 ( +1 / -11 )

If this WAS an attack, and WAS sanctioned by Hezbolla, there will be Hell to pay (Iran).

3 ( +5 / -2 )

One of the most beautiful countries in the middle east, the food, the music, the life style, and the people,heartbreaking to see it in ruins.

I pray for these people.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

I wish that trump will just keep his NOSE out of this , the people of Lebanon don't need his comments at this time.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

"Trump and his "great" generals are saying that it was an attack, because they want it to be, but it looks like a tragic, perhaps avoidable, accident."

The US DoD did not say the explosion was caused was a bomb or some sort of attack. That came from Mr. Trump.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

"The shock wave is consistent with aerosolized particle type explosives"

No, not necessarily true. Any big explosion creates a shock wave in the air. If the air is humid enough, the compression of the shock wave turns the water vapor into liquid water briefly and that is what you saw. Go back and look at videos of the hydrogen explosions at the Fukushima nuclear plant. You can see similar shock waves in those explosions though they are harder to see due to the distance everyone was keeping from the plant. You can also see similar shock wave produced condensation on high performance jets when they make hard turns.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

"Well, ammonium nitrate can be used as an explosive component of bombs, so unless the warehouse was a store of agricultural fertilizer, Trump isn't actually wrong."

The ammonium nitrate was removed from a ship that had been abandoned in Beirut harbor. It was a Moldavian flagged cargo ship that experienced engineering problems and made an emergency port call to Beirut. Apparently the repair cost was high and the ships owners simply abandoned it. This was 2013. The cargo was removed in 2014 and placed in the warehouse pending the outcome of legal actions. The case had been grinding its way through the Lebanese courts ever since. The port authority had been sending letters to the courts telling them to settle the case and get the stuff off their dock before there was a tragedy.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Any big explosion creates a shock wave in the air. If the air is humid enough, the compression of the shock wave turns the water vapor into liquid water briefly and that is what you saw. Go back and look at videos of the hydrogen explosions at the Fukushima nuclear plant. You can see similar shock waves in those explosions though they are harder to see due to the distance everyone was keeping from the plant. You can also see similar shock wave produced condensation on high performance jets when they make hard turns.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Any big explosion creates a shock wave in the air. If the air is humid enough, the compression of the shock wave turns the water vapor into liquid water briefly and that is what you saw. Go back and look at videos of the hydrogen explosions at the Fukushima nuclear plant. You can see similar shock waves in those explosions though they are harder to see due to the distance everyone was keeping from the plant. You can also see similar shock wave produced condensation on high performance jets when they make hard turns.

Uh oh, now they're going to start going off about chem trails.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Well, ammonium nitrate can be used as an explosive component of bombs, so unless the warehouse was a store of agricultural fertilizer, Trump isn't actually wrong.

You know, other than the fact that he was entirely wrong.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

1) There was a fire before-hand

2) People did video the fire before-hand

3) The explosion as captured on video was... impressive, mesmerizing , and yet very very terrifying

4) People died... a lot of innocent people died

5) Many innocents were injured.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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