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Thread: Huge explosion in Beirut

  1. #71
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    Default Re: Huge explosion in Beirut

    Quote Originally Posted by bluedog225 View Post
    I can’t imagine the engineering that would have gone into designing them to have that wall remain after the blast.
    My guess is that after blowing away the near wall, the grain inside the silos, being loose media, damped the blast energy before the wave reached the far walls of the silos. Meanwhile, the blast waves tucked in behind the silos just like waves going around an island, though more so, not just due to the enormous pressure differential of the blast wave versus atmospheric pressure, but because the blast wave was essentially sound waves (I can't recall if supersonic), which curve well around structures. I'm trying to think of more accurate terminology but my brain is failing right now.
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  2. #72
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    Default Re: Huge explosion in Beirut

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob (oh, THAT Bob) View Post
    My guess is that after blowing away the near wall, the grain inside the silos, being loose media, damped the blast energy before the wave reached the far walls of the silos. Meanwhile, the blast waves tucked in behind the silos just like waves going around an island, though more so, not just due to the enormous pressure differential of the blast wave versus atmospheric pressure, but because the blast wave was essentially sound waves (I can't recall if supersonic), which curve well around structures. I'm trying to think of more accurate terminology but my brain is failing right now.
    It is called deffraction. All wave forms do it.
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

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  3. #73
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    Default Re: Huge explosion in Beirut

    A fair bit of detail in this report.
    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-53668493
    Mr Koraytem and the director general of Lebanese Customs, Badri Daher, said their warnings about the danger posed by the stored ammonium nitrate and calls for it to be removed were repeatedly ignored.
    "We requested that it be re-exported but that did not happen. We leave it to the experts and those concerned to determine why," Mr Daher told broadcaster LBCI.

    Documents circulated online appeared to show that customs officials sent letters to the judiciary seeking guidance at least six times from 2014 to 2017.
    From the link
    The cargo of ammonium nitrate arrived in Lebanon in September 2013, on board a Russian-owned cargo vessel flying a Moldovan Flag. The Rhosus, according to information from the ship-tracking site, Fleetmon, was heading from Georgia to Mozambique.
    It was forced to dock in Beirut after facing technical problems at sea, according to (PDF) lawyers representing the boat's crew. But Lebanese officials prevented the vessel from sailing, and eventually, it was abandoned by its owners and crew - information partially corroborated by Fleetmon.
    The ship's dangerous cargo was then offloaded and placed in Hangar 12 of Beirut port, a large grey structure facing the country's main north-south highway at the main entrance to the capital.
    Months later, on June 27, 2014, then-director of Lebanese Customs Shafik Merhi sent a letter addressed to an unnamed "Urgent Matters judge", asking for a solution to the cargo, according to documents shared online.
    Customs officials sent at least five more letters over the next three years - on December 5, 2014, May 6, 2015, May 20, 2016, October 13, 2016, and October 27, 2017 - asking for guidance and warning that the material posed a danger, Badri Daher, the current director of Lebanese Customs, told broadcaster LBCI on Wednesday.
    They proposed three options: Export the ammonium nitrate, hand it over to the Lebanese Army, or sell it to the privately-owned Lebanese Explosives Company.
    ممكن حدا يخبرنا مين القاضي العظيم اللي نيم هيدي القضية وليش؟
    صراحة شي ببكي على حالنا @MarieClaudeNajm pic.twitter.com/EuPy7loktF
    — Wadih AL-ASMAR (@walasmar) August 4, 2020
    One letter sent in 2016 noted there had been "no reply" from judges to previous requests.
    It pleaded: "In view of the serious danger of keeping these goods in the hangar in unsuitable climatic conditions, we reaffirm our request to please request the marine agency to re-export these goods immediately to preserve the safety of the port and those working in it, or to look into agreeing to sell this amount" to the Lebanese Explosives Company.
    Again, there was no reply.
    A year later, Daher, the new Lebanese Customs director, wrote to a judge once again.
    In the October 27, 2017, letter, Daher urged the judge to come to a decision on the matter in view of "the danger ... of leaving these goods in the place they are, and to those working there".
    Nearly three years later, the ammonium nitrate was still in the hangar.
    So it looks as though the judges should be under house arrest rather than the Customs officials.
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

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  4. #74
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    Default Re: Huge explosion in Beirut

    This is, apart from the explosion, an everyday story of the bottom tier of the shipping business and the creaking nature of legal systems in most - yes most - of the world. I can think of dozens of countries where this might have happened, and plenty of similar cases, without the explosion.
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    Default Re: Huge explosion in Beirut

    I was sent a video, which I won't repost, showing the explosion and four or five people running around with their clothes totally aflame. No-one got them on the ground - although some were extinguished by a guy with buckets of water. I can't imagine the outcome was good.

  6. #76
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    Default Re: Huge explosion in Beirut

    That ship sitting on its side is the Orient Queen - a cruise ship. Two crew were killed.

    https://gcaptain.com/beirut-blast-tw...on-ship-sinks/
    Will

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    Default Re: Huge explosion in Beirut

    Reports are of 300,000 left homeless and "thousands" injured, but only 135 dead. That doesn't add up.

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    Default Re: Huge explosion in Beirut

    Interesting background on the shipment:

    https://www.zerohedge.com/geopolitic...rut-blast-saga

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    Default Re: Huge explosion in Beirut

    Quote Originally Posted by George. View Post
    Reports are of 300,000 left homeless and "thousands" injured, but only 135 dead. That doesn't add up.
    With the carnage this explosion caused, I imagine they're identifying many by 'fragments' - and until done, won't know the total - one victim might otherwise be counted several times. And they're still digging out. I'd expect many fold more casualties.
    There's a lot of things they didn't tell me when I signed on with this outfit....

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    Default Re: Huge explosion in Beirut

    Quote Originally Posted by George. View Post
    Looking at those pictures it is hard to believe there were not many more dead. Were there no dock workers, ship crews, etc., present at the time of the explosion?

    It is also interesting how that ship got tossed onto the wharf in one piece. Good construction, I reckon.
    Studies and tests by the US Navy with regard to nuclear explosions have shown ships to be remarkably resilient, probably due to the dynamic and fatigue loading at sea for which they are designed, in just normal use and life cycle.

    In contrast, most stick-built and masonry houses and buildings get blown off their foundations into pieces like matchsticks, leaving not a trace. Steel-framed buildings are better, at least ones that don't rely on walls for shear strength; In the later case, the walls get blown off and the structure collapses.
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    Default Re: Huge explosion in Beirut

    "A welder's torch"
    Welders rarely use "a torch" these days. Almost every fire caused by "welders" that I have noted were caused by the grinders which throw red hot sparks 20 feet and more...

  12. #82
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    Default Re: Huge explosion in Beirut

    Quote Originally Posted by Canoeyawl View Post
    "A welder's torch"
    Welders rarely use "a torch" these days. Almost every fire caused by "welders" that I have noted were caused by the grinders which throw red hot sparks 20 feet and more...
    I think that "welder's torch" is a misleading term. Oxyacetylene torches are used quite a bit in ship construction and repair, just not for welding. Cutting, edge beveling, heating for shrink-fit components, heating to remove shrink-fit components, and heating for on-site bending are all tasks that use torches. So, yes, torches are common in shipyards and any dockside where repair work is being performed. Also, grinders are not the only source of red-hot sparks being transmitted over a significantly large area; plasma cutters are pretty good at that, too, and I think that you would be surprised at how many people refer to them as 'torches' or 'plasma torches'. All, of course, are used by welders...
    Hope for the best, but plan for the worst.

  13. #83
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    Default Re: Huge explosion in Beirut

    I was only pointing out that the media is clueless

    When is the last time you saw an oxy-acetylene torch used to weld anything over an 1"8" thick?

    Incredibly inefficient.

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    Default Re: Huge explosion in Beirut

    As bad as this was, I'm very glad it was an accident. No revenge, no need to kill anybody else.
    "For a successful technology, reality must take precedence over public relations,
    for nature cannot be fooled."

    Richard Feynman

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    Default Re: Huge explosion in Beirut

    Looking at a map of the area, the video I saw had to be at least half a kilometre away from the blast. At least. It was taken from a below-ground location, looking up towards the ground - think stairs in a subway - and the blast occurs. People run into scene with their close fully aflame. Ugh. That death toll is going way up.

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    Default Re: Huge explosion in Beirut

    Quote Originally Posted by mmd View Post
    I think that "welder's torch" is a misleading term. .
    People still say steam rollers too. They were gone before I was born! JayInOz

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    Default Re: Huge explosion in Beirut

    Quote Originally Posted by Keith Wilson View Post
    As bad as this was, I'm very glad it was an accident. No revenge, no need to kill anybody else.
    Some say it might have been an attack.
    I don't know.
    Why would they say it?
    I don't know.
    But some say it was an attack.
    It looked like it could have been an attack, only why would they say it, if it wasn't.
    I don't know.
    Maybe it wasn't. But it looked like it.
    It's all fun and games until Darth Vader comes.

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    Default Re: Huge explosion in Beirut

    There is concern now about the supplying of the city as the docks are completely destroyed.

    "Lebanon is at risk of a major food crisis and many Lebanese may soon find it hard to afford bread since COVID-19 and lockdowns had "dramatically worsened the economic crisis and profoundly disrupted the food supply chain"."
    https://news.cgtn.com/news/2020-05-2...eFW/index.html

    Beirut already had a water supply problem due to leaks and ageing infrastructure.

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    Default Re: Huge explosion in Beirut

    Quote Originally Posted by gypsie View Post
    Some say it might have been an attack.
    I don't know.
    Why would they say it?
    I don't know.
    But some say it was an attack.
    It looked like it could have been an attack, only why would they say it, if it wasn't.
    I don't know.
    Maybe it wasn't. But it looked like it.
    .

    Why do you say that it looked like an attack? How would an accident have looked different?

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    Default Re: Huge explosion in Beirut

    In Beirut they are teargassing protesters wanting accountabiity from the government.

  21. #91
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    Default Re: Huge explosion in Beirut

    Quote Originally Posted by Keith Wilson View Post
    As bad as this was, I'm very glad it was an accident. No revenge, no need to kill anybody else.
    OTOH, someone should hang for this. I am sure the people of Beirut would be glad to find the rope.

  22. #92
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    Default Re: Huge explosion in Beirut

    Quote Originally Posted by George. View Post
    OTOH, someone should hang for this. I am sure the people of Beirut would be glad to find the rope.
    It seems that would be members of the judiciary.
    https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/...032416684.html
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

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  23. #93
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    Default Re: Huge explosion in Beirut

    Quote Originally Posted by George. View Post
    OTOH, someone should hang for this. I am sure the people of Beirut would be glad to find the rope.
    I think not.

    It was an accident, the sort of accident that might happen in many countries. Ian has already pointed out that Australia is a prime candidate.

    For an example of an even worse explosion, caused wholly by incompetent and overbearing bureaucrats, consider the Fort Stikine explosion.

    The "Fort Stikine" had sailed from Britain with munitions, with a first call at Karachi, where she loaded baled raw cotton in the lower holds for Bombay. She was carrying munitions, including 1,200 tons of TNT, and lubricating oil in drums in the 'tweendecks and the raw cotton in bales was loaded in the lower hold at Karachi. At that time raw cotton was an unusual cargo for British ships and the ship's officers, whilst they were aware of the hazards of this stowage - oil and cotton must always be separated as any leakage of oil into the cotton will result in spontaneous combustion - were unable to find any written authority to support their concerns, so they were overruled. Consequently the ship was a floating time bomb. Fire was going to start in the cotton as soon as leakage from the oil drums got to it. At Bombay she was not permitted to fly flag B for fear of sabotage and arrangements for taking off the explosives at the DG anchorage were cancelled.

    We don’t know how many died. At least 1,200.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1944_Bombay_explosion

    https://blog.nationalarchives.gov.uk/anatomy-disaster/


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    Default Re: Huge explosion in Beirut

    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew Craig-Bennett View Post
    I think not.

    It was an accident, the sort of accident that might happen in many countries. Ian has already pointed out that Australia is a prime candidate.


    Perhaps, but it seems to be an entirely predictable accident. The hazard was well known. Someone in authority was aware of it and decided upon a policy of keeping this massive amount of explosive material in the middle of a populated area. They should answer for it. If it goes on in other countries, the same applies.

  25. #95
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    Default Re: Huge explosion in Beirut

    Quote Originally Posted by George. View Post
    Perhaps, but it seems to be an entirely predictable accident. The hazard was well known. Someone in authority was aware of it and decided upon a policy of keeping this massive amount of explosive material in the middle of a populated area. They should answer for it. If it goes on in other countries, the same applies.
    You will not be able to establish that there was a deliberate policy of keeping the fertilizer in that hangar.
    Ask your self "What is more likely"
    The judiciary was told repeatedly of the danger and had a policy of ignoring the Customs Port authority and playing Russian Roulette with the city?
    The judiciary in typical bumbledom mode pigeonholed the many letters for attention tomorrow, and then forgot about them under pressure of other work?

    One is deliberate criminal behaviour, the other mere incompetence.
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

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    Default Re: Huge explosion in Beirut

    Quote Originally Posted by Canoeyawl View Post
    I was only pointing out that the media is clueless

    When is the last time you saw an oxy-acetylene torch used to weld anything over an 1"8" thick?

    Incredibly inefficient.
    I think that how "clueless" the media is is dependent on your reading of the phrase "sparks from a welder's torch". If the story does indeed hope to imply that the welder was trying to weld with a torch, then you are correct and the media is clueless. However, if you consider that a welder uses a torch in several facets of his work (cutting, bending, etc.) while he is not using his arc welder, then the phrase "welder's torch" is merely indicative that the torch was in the possession of, and being used by, a welder and was not necessarily being used for welding. This seems much more likely.
    Hope for the best, but plan for the worst.

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    Default Re: Huge explosion in Beirut

    Quote Originally Posted by Peerie Maa View Post
    You will not be able to establish that there was a deliberate policy of keeping the fertilizer in that hangar.
    Ask your self "What is more likely"
    The judiciary was told repeatedly of the danger and had a policy of ignoring the Customs Port authority and playing Russian Roulette with the city?
    The judiciary in typical bumbledom mode pigeonholed the many letters for attention tomorrow, and then forgot about them under pressure of other work?

    One is deliberate criminal behaviour, the other mere incompetence.
    Or simple overwork. As I have cause to remember, the Lebanese legal system for maritime cases continued to work throughout the 1975-90 civil war. It didn’t work very well, but it did more or less work, with considerable delays.
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  28. #98
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    Default Re: Huge explosion in Beirut

    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew Craig-Bennett View Post
    Or simple overwork. As I have cause to remember, the Lebanese legal system for maritime cases continued to work throughout the 1975-90 civil war. It didn’t work very well, but it did more or less work, with considerable delays.
    Still incompetence. Failing to prioritise the work is incompetence. Failing to realise that there were letters on the topic going back years is incompetence.
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

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  30. #100
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    Default Re: Huge explosion in Beirut

    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-i...-idUSKCN259312

    JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Middle East analysts and commentators described the Israel- United Arab Emirates deal as - variously - a groundbreaking and historic accord, or a face saving announcement for leaders seeking a way out of their problems.

    Israeli hawks said it sounded the death knell for the ‘Land for Peace’ formula that has underpinned decades of Israeli-Palestinian negotiations, while Palestinians accused an Arab neighbour of selling them out.

    The following is a selection of comments:

    - Amos Yadlin, director of Israel’s Institute for National Security Studies, said Saudi Arabia would be closely watching this “trial balloon.”

    He said the deal suggested that White House advisers believed annexation would “finish off” President Donald Trump’s Mideast plan, announced earlier this year.

    The accord, said Yadlin, “on one hand, saves the Trump plan, and on the other hand, gives Israel a diplomatic achievement.”

    - Hanan Ashrawi, member of PLO Executive Committee, on Twitter: “May you never experience the agony of having your country stolen; may you never feel the pain of living in captivity under occupation; may you never witness the demolition of your home or murder of your loved ones. May you never be sold out by your “friends.”

    - Aaron David Miller, senior Fellow at Carnegie Endowment, to Reuters via email: (Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin) “Netanyahu, UAE, and Trump Administration are making a virtue out of necessity. But I’d have to admit, it’s extremely clever. It’s a big win for all three.

    “UAE will say it’s prevented annexation; US prevents annexation too and gets a big breakthrough in Israel’s normalization with Arabs and Netanyahu gets an enormous win and is freed from the complications and traps of annexation.”

    - Christians United For Israel, an evangelical group that claims 8 million members said on Twitter: “CUFI applauds historic normalization of ties between #UAE and #Israel.”

    - Yair Rosenberg, senior writer at Tablet Magazine, on Twitter: “Bibi just did the thing where he tells the settlers that he’s eventually going to annex, he promises, for real, just not now. Charlie Brown and the football. I doubt the settlers will fall for it this time.”

    - Adnan Abu Amer, political analyst in Gaza: “The accord was a tough blow to Abbas and made him look alone, especially after the statements from Egypt and Bahrain that welcomed it. Israel is looking beyond the bilateral dimension of this accord. It may open doors to other Arab capitals.”

    - Statement by Likud, Netanyahu’s party: “For the first time in history, Prime Minister Netanyahu broke the ‘land for peace paradigm,’ securing a ‘peace for peace’ deal.”

    - Hani al-Masri, a Palestinian analyst in Ramallah, said he feared annexation might still happen. “Netanyahu said the annexation plan was still on the table,” he wrote on Facebook. “It is a gift to the occupation. A full normalization of ties between the UAE and Israel in return for freezing the annexation plan and not for cancelling it.”

  31. #101
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    Default Re: Huge explosion in Beirut

    It was terrorism. The President said so.

    See posts 34-37.

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