Massive explosion in Beirut, Lebanon


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Live updates from CNN

No definitive word yet on if this is an accident or a terrorist attack, or what, but Trump is claiming that the military has told him it was a bomb. We all know how reliable he is as a source...

The Lebanese Prime minister has said that this “will not pass without accountability” and “those responsible will pay for what happened.” But it's not clear if he's talking about terrorism, or unsafe conditions in the warehouse that exploded, saying that an investigation will result in “revelations that will be announced about this dangerous warehouse which has been present since 2014,”
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"Never attribute to Malice that which can be easily explained by stupidity or ignorance." - Hanlon's Razor.
Holy crap, that's the kind of thing you usually see in CG in Michael Bay movies. To see it in real life must be horrifying.
So, just a PSA, then... if you know of any other location(s) warehousing thousands of pounds of ammonium nitrate, you might want to see about getting them to split it up into several smaller warehouses, or something.

Well, to tell a WWII story where the Germans were the good guys for a change, in 1942 a chemical plant for fertilizer exploded, about 200 tons of ammonium nitrate. Since this plant was in the middle of a housing district, hundreds died.
It's the Germans who sent in troops to help rescue dozens of trapped civilians, set up ER posts, etc etc, and paid millions to move the whole plant a few kilometers outside of town to prevent another disaster later on.
That missing chunk or pier really sells it. I don't know why that specific bit is so much more visually striking than all of the missing concrete from those warehouses, but the missing chunk of pier really speaks to the amount of devastation that blast accomplished.


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Those big structures right next to the crater are what's left of Lebanon's main grain silo. (Reuters) The good news is that they've got enough grain to avoid a crisis, and the silos were only at about 15% of capacity. The bad news is that they were at such a low capacity because the country was in a financial crisis before the explosion happened.