What Footage of the Beirut Explosion Tells Us About the Blast [Video]


The huge explosion in Beirut’s port on Tuesday shattered home windows greater than a mile away and despatched a plume of smoke and particles hovering above the metropolis’s tallest buildings.

It was so intense that the blast was felt no less than 150 miles away in Cyprus. It killed no less than 135 folks, injured no less than 5,000 and left dozens lacking. Some 300,000 different folks have been displaced from their properties.

The Times reviewed greater than 70 movies of the incident and satellite tv for pc photographs of its aftermath to raised perceive what occurred.

Here’s what the out there visible proof tells us about the blast and the devastation it left behind.

The explosion that ripped by massive components of Beirut was preceded by a raging hearth in a port warehouse. A correspondent for The Los Angeles Times first reported the hearth round 5:54 p.m. native time, posting a picture of the smoke on Twitter and noting the sound of an explosion. For the subsequent 14 minutes, the hearth blazed as emergency employees responded.

A video filmed from a close-by high-rise captured what occurred subsequent. Emergency autos with flashing lights could be seen responding to the hearth and smoke, and different movies posted on social media confirmed firefighters in motion at the warehouse at roughly the identical time. Then, the blaze seems to quickly speed up, adopted by a big explosion. Thirty-five seconds later, at round 6:08 p.m. native time, a ultimate, huge blast fully envelops the space.

Satellite images taken one day later show the scale of the explosion and confirm its exact location, a warehouse next to the Beirut Port grain silos. Only a gaping hole filled with water, approximately 460 feet in diameter, is left where the warehouse stood.

The most dramatic videos of the blast show a white dome expanding rapidly through the air. This is an overpressure wave caused by the mass of exploding ammonium nitrate pushing molecules of humid air against each other as it moves. The wave reflects and bounces, destroying some buildings while leaving others relatively undamaged. Some people on social media misinterpreted it as an atomic “mushroom cloud.”

While we don’t know how the ammonium nitrate was stored in the warehouse, which would affect its explosive power, the chemical can be as much as 40 percent as powerful as TNT. The detonation of 2,750 tons of ammonium nitrate would make the Beirut event one of the most powerful accidental industrial explosions on record and could produce enough overpressure to shatter glass 1.25 miles away.

Beirut’s port is centrally located, and thousands of people live in residential neighborhoods along the seaside within a mile of the blast. Videos showed the pressure wave flattening cars and speeding destructively through churches, mosques, apartments and shopping malls, including the Beirut Souks, which opened in 2009 after being rebuilt following the civil war.

At least five hospitals were located within a mile and a quarter of the explosion, and around a dozen more were close enough to feel its effects.



Source link Nytimes.com

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *