The news is full of information about the ammonia tank that blew up in West, Texas. I have seen the news reports, and the damage is devastating. There does seem to be a little bit of misinformation out there though. I saw the news anchor call the tank that blew up a huge tank. Reports are that the fertilizer depot had two 12,000 gallon tanks. Those are not huge tanks. The nurse tanks that farmers use to apply the fertilizer can be as large as 3,000 gallons. So calling the tank that blew up huge might be a little bit of a stretch.
The explosion seems to have been a BLEVE, based on the fact that firemen were fighting a fire prior to the explosion. I don’t know for sure, but I would say that terrorism was unlikely in this event.
The unsettling news here, especially after looking at all of the damage done, is that it could easily happen in any number of small towns across the nation. And it wasn’t because it was some kind of explosive chemical–liquid propane tanks can do the same.
Bombs have been made out of fertilizer–ammonium nitrate, for example. That may have been the case here as well, but it seems to have “just” been a BLEVE.
It could happen here.