A massive explosion caused by ammonium nitrate has rocked the capital city of Lebanon, leaving dozens dead and countless injured. The videos went viral through social media and have shaken the entire internet. Many people, whether locals or prominent celebs have offered their condolences on the tragedy.
According to the reports, the explosion resulted from ammonium nitrate that was stored unsafely in a warehouse. The fire started from a firework company, which then spread to the warehouse and caused the blast. However, this is not the first time that we have seen explosions caused by ammonium nitrate; there have been other damages caused by this chemical compound. The tragedy is being ranked as one of the top 10 accidental blasts in history.
Ammonium nitrate is a highly flammable substance when exposed to high temperatures. It is created by combining ammonia gas with liquid nitric acid. Its primary purpose is as a fertilizer in the agriculture department, but it is sometimes used in mining explosions. The Beirut explosion was equivalent to 1.3 kilotons of TNT.
The last major explosion caused by the chemical was back in 2015 in Tianjin, China, which is so far the most devastating tragedies. It claimed the lives of 165 people and caused $1.1 billion worth of damage. However, ammonium nitrate is still a very valuable resource that has many benefits, despite its danger. The current tragedy is an indicator that the substance must be stored in a safe environment using proper safety measures.
Take a look at the full timeline of explosions caused by ammonium nitrate throughout history.
Infographic by: visualcapitalist.com