Before the Beirut Port explosion that killed more than 130 people and caused thousands of injuries, and caused losses of money and property; Mankind was plagued by several disasters due to ammonium nitrate.
Ammonium nitrate is a chemical in the form of white odorless salt, commonly used in the manufacture of fertilizers, and used as explosives in quarries and mines.
Ammonium nitrate is a component of fertilizer called ammonium, and farmers buy it in large bags or by weight, which are non-flammable products, but they are oxidizers, that is, they allow the burning of another burning material.
Ammonium nitrate can also be used in the manufacture of explosive devices, and is a relatively safe material if it is far from pollution and has been properly stored; But they are extremely dangerous if they are contaminated, mixed with gasoline or stored unsafe.
During the past century, ammonium nitrate was a source of many tragedies around the world, whether accidental or criminal, and led to massive destruction in several regions of the world. We monitor the most prominent of them in the following report:
The first nitrate disasters
in 1921, the first recorded accident in the history of this compound resulted in the death of 561 people, which was at the BISF plant in Obau, Germany.
French city of Brest
In 1947, the French city of Brest was shaken by the explosion of the Norwegian cargo ship, "Ocean Liberty", which was loaded with this material.
The US port of Texas City
in the same year, a 2,300-ton fire of chemical material blew up aboard a ship at the US port of Texas City, causing a tsunami in which at least 567 people were killed and more than 5,000 injured.
In 1995, a man detonated a two-tonne package of compost in front of a federal federal building in Oklahoma City, killing 168 people.
In France, too, a large amount of about 300 tons of ammonium nitrate exploded inside a factory warehouse in the southern outskirts of Toulouse in 2001, and the explosion killed 31 people and wounded 2,500.
In 2004, train cars loaded with ammonium nitrate exploded in Rincheon, North Korea, killing more than 154 people, injuring more than 1,200 people, and destroying more than 8,000 homes in the city.
The West Verteizer plant
In 2013, ammonium nitrate stockpiles at the West Vertizer fertilizer plant in West Texas, USA, were deliberately bombed; Killing 15 people and wounding about 200.
An explosion in Tianjin
In 2015, 800 tons of ammonium nitrate exploded in Tianjin in China's coastal states, killing more than 173 people and destroying an entire region.