60 million gallons of fuel go boom


Video and images on there, and i think i see the smoke plume out the window. Lucky it was 6am on Sunday morning, casualties were very low.

I’m curious as to what this accident was.

What a way to wake up.

There was a reporter on Sky News who was reporting on something else in central London. He stopped and said “I’ve just heard the most incredible explosion - which I’m not too happy about - but I’ll carry on”, or words to that effect.

He heard it in Central London! Christ. That must be one hell of a bang.

They’ve had several interesting interviews on Sky. One was a tanker driver, who with 4 others and the billing manager were in the depot when it went off. He saw the vapour cloud above a tank, then the billing manager turned the electrics off and they all ran, being blown over by the initial blast. Luckiest guys in the world by all accounts. Also the reports of the blast being heard so far away point to a massive vapour cloud building up first.

The first blast happened at 0603 GMT at the Buncefield fuel depot, close to junction 8 of the M1 motorway and was heard as far away as the Netherlands.


It was a crisp, clear morning, the soundwave bounced off the stratosphere (or something high up), hence reports from the Dutch and the like.

There used to be a rocket fuel manufacturer in Las Vegas named Pepcon. Actually it wasn’t in Las Vegas, but in the former no-man’s-land between Vegas and Henderson. [size=2]Fuck Henderson![/size]

Anyway, one clear day in 1988, at about noon, it fucking exploded! At the time, my junior high was on double-sessions with another school due to an asbestos retrofit, so I actually went to school at about noon every day. While standing at the bus stop, we all start to see this ginormous mushroom cloud way way over on the other side of the valley. And then we heard the boom. Man that was awesome. There were actually a couple booms as various parts went up, but still.

Google: Pepcon explosion
Some pics

Ahem. Can I please get a forum-wide ban on “ginormous?” It’s the dumbest thing you can hear, and it just gets dumber when you type it.


p.s. You know I love ya, Shift, but come on.

My nomination for a replacement: tremense.

I love that word. I even use it IRL and at work.


Hee hee, yeah I was a sophomore in high school at the time. I was actually at home that morning (I’d blown out my groin in football practice). My house was maybe a 15-minute drive down US-95 to Pepcon. The first big boom woke me, the second rattled the house and cracked our living room window (it caved in garage doors maybe 2 miles closer). I looked outside, saw a silly big mushroom cloud, thought briefly Oh well, it was fun while it lasted and I think you can guess the overwhelming feeling of crushing impending doom I felt at that point.

The fun parts came later, when schools were evacuated and nobody was sure where the children were taken, a ginor^H^H^H^giant dust cloud meandered over the valley as news anchors exclaimed “It’s poisonous! Ha ha wait, no it isn’t! We swear!” and my favorite, it blew up the adjacent marshmallow plant, which is IMO Wile E. Coyote funny. “It was horrible, man - there was fluff everywhere! The smores…my God man the smores.

No, sorry, it’s too common now. When you hear Jon Stewart saying it on the daily show it’s too late.

The blast was heard as far away as Holland

Hot damn!

I saw a thing about this on Discovery. The video of the shockwave rolling across the desert floor was unbelievable.