Beirut explosion

Found a good article embedding several of the best shots.

I wonder what kilotonnage this rates at?

Whatever that tall white building next to the port was, it ain’t anymore!

That wasn’t sequential, either, like military ordnance cooking off. That was like a large amount of fertilizer going up.

AP story here:

I saw reports an hour ago that it was heard 150 miles away in Cyprus.

That first Twitter link the OP’s article is a helluva little video.

Haven’t seen anything like it since the Tianjin blasts in 2015.

Is it fair to estimate that the port of Beirut is bye bye?

It reminded me of stories of the Texas City explosion (fertilizer) back in 1947. I doubt the count of 25 dead will stand…there will be a lot more.

A Lebanese Government official initially said it was a fireworks factory. Now they are saying explosive material stored at a “dangerous warehouse” had blown up.

Israel has been saying for years that Hezbolah keep munitions in the Beirut so that’s got to be a possibilty. Israel are denying they had anything to do with this of course.

It’s a horrible situation for the hospitals who are already struggling to cope with the pandemic. Now there are reports they are being overwhelmed with casualties. Terrible. Hopefully the port area does not have too many people in it but I fear a very large casualty toll.

I don’t think so. The blast was uncontained, so it dissipated quickly. I had speculated that the tall white building next to the port was gone. Not so. Later shots show it still standing, albeit damaged to the point of “just tear it down.” Lots of human damage, but I think the rest will be kinda superficial, really.

Exactly my thought on seeing video of the second explosion. Lots of orangish red smoke. Which made me think of AN, or storable liquid rocket fuel like N2O4. EDIT: though that would be an insane thing for them to be storing, and wow will there be inhalation casualties.

Initial cell phone video (while standing behind glass, LOL Darwin) showed a lot of snap crackle popping within the smoking area of the first explosion. Looked a bit like pyrotechnic shells’ exploding. Or far shots of cluster munitions detonating.

Still looked like a lot smaller bang than Tientsin’s port. 50 ton equivalent?

Apparently they confiscated a ship with 2500 tonnes of HE back in 2014 and then just stored it.

In one of the videos, you can see a handful of cars pull over to the side of the highway to watch the initial fire at a “safe” distance…hope they survived.

Ammonium Nitrate


Can someone here explain the explosion? I see the initial light colored/grey smoke plume, then there is an initial shock of something that seemed to send a bunch of red stuff skyward, then a dome of white which seemed to be the big one, all in a few seconds. What was the white dome?

It’s horrifying, but I am curious.

One of the videos linked in the OP certainly lends credibility to the fireworks as the initial source combustion. Under the smallish white cloud, you can see a series of random white spark flashes going up in various directions. Then the bloody big BOOM!

Here is the link:

Multiple initial explosions followed by a vaporized fuel-air explosion? The initial explosions would have drawn everybody to the windows of the 20+ story building and they would have been hit with a massive shock wave blowing out the windows and setting the building on fire.

I believe the white dome is the shock wave which is compressing the air as it travels out. The humidity that is normally in the air gets compressed by this wave and becomes visible water vapor.


looked like something was on fire, then blew up. maybe fuel storage in a port? I’d like to think it an accident, rather than terrorism or military strikes. not that that minimizes the human suffering.

I wonder how many eardrums were blown out?

I only think of this now after reading about how loud the Krakatoa eruption was in 1883 (that was much, much, much bigger than this obviously but lots of hearing loss for those nearby and not-so-nearby who survived)

At least 60 dead and 3,000 injured, is the current count.