When fertilisers explode: Some precedents

2013-04-18 15:25
The remains of a home burn after a fertiliser plant exploded in West, Texas. (LM Otero, AP)

The remains of a home burn after a fertiliser plant exploded in West, Texas. (LM Otero, AP)

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Paris - Below are previous deadly accidents linked to highly-explosive chemical fertilisers, after the blast in the US state of Texas on Wednesday which, according to a provisional toll, left between five and 15 people dead:

- 16 April 1947 – Texas City, United States: In what is considered the deadliest industrial accident in US history, a fire on board a French-registered cargo vessel detonates approximately 2 300 tons of ammonium nitrate and the resulting chain reaction of fires and explosions kills at least 581 people.

- 28 July 1947 - Brest, France: The Norwegian cargo ship Ocean Liberty explodes in the French port of Brest. The cargo consists of around 3 000 metric tons of ammonium nitrate. The explosion kills around 30 people, injures thousands and seriously damages buildings in the town.

- 8 January 1998 - Xinping, China: 24 workers are killed and around 60 seriously injured in an explosion in a chemical fertiliser factory in the northern province of Shaanxi.

- 20 September 1999 – Chiang Mai, Thailand: 35 people are killed in northern Thailand when a devastating blast in a fruit factory erupts when potassium chlorate used as a fertiliser ignites.

- 21 September 2001 - Toulouse, France: A stock of ammonium nitrate at an AZF petrochemical plant explodes killing 31 people, injuring 2 500 others and devastating thousands of homes. In 2012, the owner of the factory, Grande Paroisse, is condemned by the French justice system for "involuntary homicide".

- 24 April 2004 - Ryongchon, North Korea: 161 are killed and 1 300 injured in the railway station in the western town of Ryongchon when a train transporting oil and wagons carrying ammonium nitrate collide, and a series of deadly explosions ensues.

- 28 May 2004 - Mihailesti, Romania: A total of 18 people are killed and 13 others injured when a nitrogen-based fertiliser truck explodes in eastern Romania.

Read more on:    us  |  texas explosion

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