Beirut explosion -my bet is it is an accident and here is why

I used to be an open pit blaster many years ago and have had extensive experience with Anfo, the ammonium nitrite the explosive derivative that results when you mix ammonium nitrite with 6 % fuel oil(diesel). The ammonium nitrate that was stored was not mixed with fuel oil. That would be disastrous. So why did it explode ? Too much and too long. 5.5 million lbs and seven years. Ammonium Nitrite deteriorates over time and it gives off heat as it does. As the mass warms it becomes more and more sensitive. The more mass, the higher the temperature can get.

For those not familiar with the incident: 2020 Beirut explosion - Wikipedia

I was under the impression that the consensus of the vast majority was always that it was an accident. Did many people really think it was deliberate action?

Welcome to the board.

I think that time has proven out your theory. Had there been an element of terrorism to this someone would have laid claim to doing it before now or been chatting it up online somewhere. Doesn’t do much good to terrorize if you don’t tell people that this is what happens when you cross us.

Or it could have just been a firebug with a match that saw an opportunity but didn’t have an agenda other than watching it go up.

Everything I’ve read says it was an accident made possible if not inevitable by incompetence.

And this was certainly not the first time that such an ammonium nitrate explosion occurred:

I’m sure there are some conspiracy theories floating around because Lebanon and neighbor Syria have been such a shitshow of civil war and terrorism for so long it seems like just another incident, but all available evidence points to this being a combination of ineptitude, laziness, and bureaucratic indifference to the hazards of storing a potentially volatile material without careful surveillance for so long.


Plus buck-passing in the complex Lebanese politics of allocating posts across poltical interest groups, so that the chain of responsibility/accountability has too many loopholes for too many individuals.

If I remember correctly at the time, the government was aware that this was extremely dangerous situation but played bureaucratic grab-ass , essentially shirking their responsibilities until it was too late.