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Fortunately, No One Was Killed- Los Angeles Building Explosion

Steamhead
Steamhead Member Posts: 16,826
All Steamed Up, Inc.
Towson, MD, USA
Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
Oil & Gas Burner Service
Consulting

Comments

  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 16,826
    Another view- watch the firefighters escape THROUGH the fireball:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fg36duyIsAs

    The post-mortem on this should be interesting. I'd be willing to bet the city's permitting department didn't know what was actually going on there. Such a building is no place to store that much butane. And they don't say, but I'd bet there was a NG service to that place, which would have increased the available fuel.
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Towson, MD, USA
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Consulting
  • ratio
    ratio Member Posts: 3,624
    Butane, that would make this a BLEV explosion? Scary stuff.

    I'm minorly involved in fire alarms at work, so I get to deal with the Fire Dept. from time to time. I always ask them if there's anything they want changed or done differently. The way I see it, they might have to drag my @$$ out of a burning building some day—I want it to be as easy & safe as possible!

  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 23,275
    Actually, my understanding is that it was a hash oil factory. It may well have been butane, but the manufacture of hash oil in any scale -- which certainly is the case in sunny southern California -- involves large amounts of very volatile, very explosive solvents -- of which butane is one, and ethanol another -- and is an inherently very hazardous process.

    Did the city's permitting department know that that was what it was? Very likely, actually, since it is perfectly legal in Kalifornia, though they may not have realized the hazard. Did the people working there understand the hazard? Very likely not, even if they themselves weren't consumers of the product. Was hash oil the only product manufactured there? Perhaps... though I might mention that it's manufacture and distribution has been linked in the past to the processing of cocaine and production of methamphetamine, both of which processes are even more hazardous.

    Does give new meaning to the phrase "get high with hash oil" though, doesn't it?
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England