Final word. Welding started fire. Too much AP (8-10 million lbs)
stockpiles as a result of the challenger disaster.
Two interesting things I noted:
1. The original investigators tested to see if AP by itself was flammable
and if AP in contact with plastic barrels was flammable. They seemed quite
excited to see that the latter was quite combustible as it supported their
My commentary: Forensic investigators at a major chem plant explosion do
not inherently know that oxidizer + fuel = agressive fire? They had to test
to see? And these were their "expert" investigators?!?
2. The investigators tested building very large, very hot fires *under*
series of 500# and 5000# barrels of AP to see if it exploded. Not
surprisingly, it did. But it was interesting to hear the commentator say
that the investigators were able to achieve a detonation in *most*
My commentary: This implies that at least some of the time, it did not
explode. If you cannot get reliable explosions by placing sealed barrels of
APCP onto the top a 10ft high funeral pyre, large quantities of raw must not
be as much of an explosion hazard as the ATFE would like us to believe.
3. A large part of the commentary ws the forensic analysis to see if a
buried 15" gas pipeline started the explosion or the pipe was ruptured by
My commentary: That implies that a large team of experts started with a
signifcant enough doubt that the AP was responsible that they felt the need
to explore the gas angle. Granted, exploring all possibilities is their job
but one would think that with no other evidence (including live video) to
support a pipeline rupture, that would not have been given lesser priority.