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Thread: Explosion In Houston This Morning

  1. #1
    Registered Member enigma57's Avatar
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    Last edited by enigma57; 01-24-2020 at 01:42 PM. Reason: add link
    'G-d Bless The U.S.A.'...... Lee Greenwood......

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U_5aoptI5j0

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    Moderator NickP's Avatar
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    All of mine in the area are safe - thanks for the emergency numbers Harry

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    Confined to a pretty small area, but wow that must have been a hell of an explosion, given the damage done to surrounding homes, not to mention leveling a large manufacturing facility. Didn't wake me up though, I'm about 15-20 miles away.

    Reminds me of the salt dome full of natural gas that exploded near Brenham 25 years ago or so. I heard and felt that one 50 miles away.

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    Registered Member carls 56's Avatar
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    prayers go out to all and their families.
    ARMY NAM VET, very proud!

    56 210 4dr

    drive and enjoy them while you work on them, life is to short.

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    Administrator 567chevys's Avatar
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    Sorry for all that lived near here ,


    Sid

    1955 2 DR Post
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  6. #6
    Registered Member enigma57's Avatar
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    Its one of those unfortunate things that could have been much worse had it happened a couple hours later when the plant would have been completely staffed and people living nearby or driving through the area would have been out and about and at greater risk. As it was, there were 2 employees on site who came in early to work out in the gym the company had on site. One of them had spoken with his wife via cell phone as he arrived, saying there was a hissing sound and a strange smell. Minutes later at 4:24 AM, the plant blew up. A tank having 2,000 gallons of propylene exploded and there was liquid nitrogen involved as well (forms polypropylene). Both men were killed. 18 others who were in their homes nearby (several hundred feet away) were taken to hospital. The debris field was about 2-1/4 miles in all directions from the plant. Explosion was heard 20 - 25 miles away.

    As the search for the injured began, residents within the debris zone were asked to report pieces of the plant and any body parts that fell onto their property. When first responders arrived on scene, some residents had to be dug out from beneath walls and ceilings that had collapsed on them. Windows and doors had been blown out of many homes. Some close by were blown off their foundations. Around 200 homes were damaged and occupants had to leave and find other places to stay because they were unsafe to remain in. When HazMat crews sought records of flammable and hazardous chemicals on site to determine what their people and Fire Dept. personnel were being exposed to and assess further possible danger of fire, explosions and exposure to hazardous substances, it seems that some chemicals known to be onsite were not documented. Never heard any more about that following initial reports.

    Best regards,

    Harry
    'G-d Bless The U.S.A.'...... Lee Greenwood......

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U_5aoptI5j0

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    Registered Member BamaNomad's Avatar
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    What was the company name, Harry.. and what did they make there in that plant?

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    It was Watson Grinding and Machine, they made valves and coatings for valves. They specialized in machining hard metals. Oil field and aerospace.

    The news never made it clear whether the propylene was for flame cutting/welding or as feedstock for the coatings. Maybe both.

  9. #9
    Registered Member enigma57's Avatar
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    Bama, I believe Rick has it covered. There are several possible uses of propylene by a business which performs the services this company does. We know that there were both propylene and liquid nitrogen stored on site in quantity and that both are explosive. The question for investigators will be...... What went wrong?

    https://www.houstonchronicle.com/new...e-15001530.php

    Best regards,

    Harry
    'G-d Bless The U.S.A.'...... Lee Greenwood......

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U_5aoptI5j0

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    Pure nitrogen, which is what liquid nitrogen is, is not explosive or flammable. It is inert. Nitrogen containing compounds like nitrous oxide and nitromethane are. But it is the oxygen in these compounds that cause this, nitrogen is just along for the ride.

    One of the problems with propylene is that it's heavier than air (like acetylene), so if there's a leak, it remains in the area. To have a propylene explosion, you need a spark. That could be provided by an internal combustion engine. So when that poor guy drove up, his vehicle probably provided the spark. That was what sparked the natural gas explosion at Brenham years ago - someone drove up to the leaking salt dome.

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