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4600 killed in ammo dump fires etc in 17yrs

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  • 4600 killed in ammo dump fires etc in 17yrs

    TAKING stock of an ammunition depot can be a deadly task. Earlier this month it led to an explosion at a weapons storeroom near the Turkish town of Afyonkarahisar, killing 25 soldiers. Such blasts are frequent—and deadly. They have killed 4,600 people since global record-keeping started in 1995. Last year was the worst yet, with 442 victims from 46 explosions. One of the biggest ever happened in March this year: an accident in Congo-Brazzaville that killed 250, showering munitions over a two-mile radius.
    http://www.economist.com/node/21563709

    Hi

    I must admit that the Congo blast didn't appear on my radar, or if it did then not for long.

    Regards
    "You have enemies? Good. That means you've stood up for something, sometime in your life." Churchill

    "I'm no reactionary.Christ on the Mountain! I'm as idealistic as Hell" Eisenhower

  • #2
    In my 20+ years of service I did not witness or learn of a single ammo storage accident in the US military. Saw some other scary events, but not that one. Mishandled ammunition can be extrely dangerous. Our safety precautions were strict and through. Violators usually were swiftly removed from any resposibilty and their promotion prospects dimmed. Non judicial and court martial actions were not unknown when violations were discovered.

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    • #3
      In my 4 years I didn't either Carl. But; anything dropped immediately went over the side just in case...some advantages to being at sea.

      Mount explosions in the Navy were few and far between but firing hundreds of thousands of rounds never made the news. A mount casualty resulting in death(s) always made front page though.

      Pretty sure more sailors were lost going overboard than ammo going boom. Imagine more died in Congo from vehicle accidents than from ammo handling.
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      • #4
        Originally posted by skiplc View Post
        In my 4 years I didn't either Carl. But; anything dropped immediately went over the side just in case...some advantages to being at sea.
        Its all good till something lands on a sub

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Carl Schwamberg View Post
          Its all good till something lands on a sub
          Especially if its a torpedo. I think there have been a few submarines lost to this. Including a couple circle running torps.

          Anyhow, Old ammunition in second and third world countries, combined with conscription doesn't make for the safest environments. Not to mention a good number of the explosions in the last few years have been from decommissioning older ammunition.

          Even worse, with these new revolutions, people who don't know how to handle munitions are going to be responsible for quite a few large stockpiles...

          I was actually having a talk with the librarians at the museum of the US navy in DC about this topic, it was noticeable however, the number of utterly massive explosions that took place between the 1900's and the 1950's. Halifax, Japanese battleship Mutsu and Port Chicago.

          Wartime stretches resources and cuts corners, but things like this even happen in peacetime.
          Who we are is but a stepping stone to what we may become.

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          • #6
            Hi Ross

            and not forgetting the UK's biggest wartime explosion caused through poor management & resources

            The RAF Fauld explosion was a military accident which occurred at 11:11am on Monday, 27 November 1944 at the RAF Fauld underground munitions storage depot. The RAF Fauld explosion was one of the largest non-nuclear explosions in history and the largest to occur on UK soil.
            Between 3,500 and 4,000 tonnes of ordnance exploded — mostly comprising high explosive (HE)-filled bombs, but including a variety of other types of weapons and including 500 million rounds of rifle ammunition. The resulting crater was 120 metres (400 ft) deep and 1,200 metres (0.75 miles) across and is still clearly visible just south of the village of Fauld, to the west of Hanbury Hill in Staffordshire, England. A nearby reservoir containing 450,000 cubic metres of water was obliterated in the incident, along with a number of buildings including a complete farm. Flooding caused by destruction of the reservoir added to the damage directly caused by the explosion.
            The exact death toll is uncertain; it appears that about 75 people died in the explosion.
            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RAF_Fauld_explosion

            Regards
            "You have enemies? Good. That means you've stood up for something, sometime in your life." Churchill

            "I'm no reactionary.Christ on the Mountain! I'm as idealistic as Hell" Eisenhower

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            • #7
              There was the Texas City explosion of thousands of tons of ammonium nitrate on a freighter that caught fire, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Texas_City_Disaster
              http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V8_KaWg5bI8
              And, the Port Chicago munition explosion. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Port_Chicago_disaster
              Both killed hundreds and leveled the port area. They were the worst non combat caused explosions during WW2.

              The one at a Soviet naval depot was so big it resembled a nuclear bomb going off. http://www.time.com/time/magazine/ar...926658,00.html

              One of the worst was the Henderson fire http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B7pRtgisV9s

              “Breaking News,”

              “Something irrelevant in your life just happened and now we are going to blow it all out of proportion for days to keep you distracted from what's really going on.”

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