At high temperatures, ammonium nitrate can create toxic nitrogen oxide and ammonia and can cause an explosion. Security and the Environmental Protection Agency are investigating the blast.
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What caused the Weaver fertilizer plant fire?
However, just a month into 2022, when the fire erupted on Jan. 31, Winston-Salem Fire Chief Trey Mayo publicly announced that nearly 600 tons of ammonium nitrate had ignited; that’s 10 to 20 times more than the city had previously estimated.
The fire was so large that firefighters had to be brought in from as far away as North Carolina to help fight it. The city was forced to declare a state of emergency on Feb. 1, the day after the blaze began, and it’s still not clear how long it will take to put it out.
What happened at the West Fertilizer plant explosion?
Fifteen people were killed, more than 160 were injured, and more than 150 buildings were damaged or destroyed. The material that exploded was ammonium nitrate. The fire was most likely caused by an IED, according to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. May 12, 2017, a federal grand jury indicted two men in connection with the bombing.
The indictment alleges that on or about May 9, 2015, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev and his brother, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, carried out the bombings at the Boston Marathon, killing three people and injuring over 260 others. Todashev was killed in the shootout with police, while Tsarnaev was captured and charged with using a weapon of mass destruction. He is currently being held without bail.
Can a fertilizer plant explode?
If exposed to intense heat, ammonium nitrate can trigger an explosion. Fire officials said that fumes from ammonium nitrate can be an irritation. We can’t stress enough how important it is and how serious people need to be about it.
If you are within a mile of the plant, you need a hazmat suit. The plant is located in the town of West, about 30 miles northwest of Oklahoma City. The town has a population of about 2,000, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
Who owns the fertilizer plant on fire in North Carolina?
The fire is at the Winston Weaver Company fertilizer plant on the north side of the city. Firefighters were called to the scene just before 9:30 a.m. after receiving a report of a fire in the building.
They arrived to find flames shooting up from the roof and a large plume of black smoke billowing into the air. The fire was quickly put out, but the smoke was so thick that firefighters were unable to get a clear view of what was going on inside the plant.
How often do fertilizer plants explode?
The most recent was a blast at a fertilizer plant in West, Texas, in May that killed 15 people and injured more than 200 others. The blast was so powerful that it blew out windows of nearby homes.
What happens if ammonium nitrate explodes?
When ammonium nitrate explodes, it can release toxic gases including nitrogen oxides and ammonia gas. Nitrogen dioxide is often associated with air pollution.
What can cause ammonium nitrate to explode?
When mixed with titanium, tin, or aluminum, Ammonium nitrate is sensitive to shock. If it is mixed with fuel oil it will explode more readily. Urine can also be used to make bombs. Urea is used in the production of nitroglycerin, an explosive used as a propellant in aircraft engines.
Urea reacts with oxygen to form nitric acid, which is then oxidized to nitrocellulose, a highly flammable and explosive substance. The nitrous oxide produced by this reaction is highly explosive, and can be ignited by a spark from a match or lighter.