The PEPCON Disaster.

On May 4th, 1988 a fire at the Pacific Engineering Production Company in Nevada ignited tons of the chemical ammonium perchlorate, a rocket-fuel booster. The resulting explosion was said to be roughly equivalent to a kiloton of TNT. Push play or go to YouTube. Link to entire Damn Interesting story.

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I just saw "Idiocracy" last nite and suddenly everything makes sense. From the Utube comments:

"The first part is the rocket fuel burning. The fuel is mixed with aluminum when burnt in the space shuttle. Of course, no one told the rocket fuel company, who stored the fuel in aluminum containers.

But here's the fun part - the large explosion came because they built the rocket fuel plant right on top of a major natural gas pipeline."
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The shock waves running out from the explosions are the coolest part of the whole scene. The viewpoint is far enough away that you can see them travel across the ground and eventually to the camera. Very interesting.
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