December 30, 2002
That's One Helluva "BOOM!"

I didn't know the largest conventional explosion ever triggered was in the Midlands of the UK. It sure makes for an interesting read.

Posted by scott at December 30, 2002 11:04 AM

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I'm not sure if that is the largest conventionl explosion ever.

The monument says: "the largest explosion caused by conventional weapons in both world wars took place at this spot when some 3,500 tons of high explosives accidently blew up."

The incident that I think might be bigger happened at Texas City in 1947 when two ships carrying ammonium nitrate fertilizer blew up.

From the 2nd link:
"Hugh Stephens tells how, on April 16th, 1947, two Liberty ships docked at Texas City on the Houston ship channel -- the Grandcamp and the High Flyer [1]. Both were loading cargoes of that same fertilizer. The Grandcamp held 2300 tons -- the High Flyer, 1000 tons. The rest of High Flyer's cargo was sulfur.

At 8:00 that morning, a small fire broke out in one of the Grandcamp's holds. The ship master tried to suffocate the fire by closing the hatches. He didn't want to use water for fear he'd damage his cargo. At 8:30, the hatches blew and, observers said, a beautiful orange smoke began pouring out. Finally firemen began hosing down the hold. But, by now, the water just vaporized.

At 9:12, a terrible explosion! Pedestrians were knocked down ten miles away in Galveston! People 150 miles away heard the sound. Two airplanes were blown out of the sky. Oil tanks were ignited.

Throughout the day, the extent of the horror unfolded. Fire was everywhere. The nearby High Flyer was burning. At 1:00 AM it exploded even more violently than the Grandcamp had. In the end, some 600 people died and 3500 or so were injured. Property damage ran to billions measured in today's dollars. "

Posted by: Byna on December 30, 2002 01:01 PM

While the Galveston disaster may have caused more loss of life and perhaps more damage, it involved 3300 tons of fertilizers and chemicals. The fauld explosion involved much more sophisticated and efficient high explosives, and actually a bit more of them.

Still, it's an interesting point. Certainly it was bigger than anything seen before or since in Britain.

Posted by: scott on December 30, 2002 01:06 PM

Hi Scott,
Interesting point, but the plaque, which is a mile away from my house and which also has a spelling mistake, states conventional WEAPONS which fertilizer is not, that is unless we're talking about the IRA, who, funded by NORAID, made a bloody good job of killing Brit soldiers with horse shit.
No hard feelings though mate, I was a soldier and they missed me. Let me know of any other big bangs of any kind (without going onto the porno sites)! regards Jim

Posted by: jim chapman on August 8, 2003 03:25 PM
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