The Oppau Explosion

Categories: AccidentsChemistry

Description of the incidents

On 21st September 2001, from 1922 – 1926 the reasons for the impact silo of an ammonium sulfate nitrate storehouse in Oppau. Two distinctive salts of Ammonium Sulfate Nitrate which are ammonium nitrate (dangerous) and ammonium sulfate (idle). The hazardousness of the salt is basically decided by the proportion. The affect of the blended salt composition had been completely examined sometime recently the mishap happened because it was common hone to utilize little hazardous charges to the salt which had blend amid capacity of the storehouse.

Around 20 000 affecting exercises were carried out without any outstanding occurrence. Tests conducted after the mischance uncovered that a few physical parameters which are the molecule measure, thickness, water substance and homogeneity of precious stone structure too had an impact. The modern presentation of drying handle for ammonium sulfate nitrate called splash handle, caused changes all these parameters coming about in salt with expanded dangerousness

Outcome Of The Accident

The unsafe properties of Ammonium Sulfate Nitrate depend generally upon of the proportion of an Ammonium Nitrate Sulfate which can lead to the blast.

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The Ammonium Sulfate Nitrate was created and put away in Oppao by weight of 50:50. The Ammonium Sulfate Nitrate composition which within the Trauzl can cause square test might be initiated to blow up by booster charges compared to an Ammonium Nitrate and Ammonium Sulfate proportion of 55:45. Based on results, which were confirmed after the mishaps accepted that the impacting operations for extricating the salt can be conducted securely. The essential condition for this presumption was the strict adherence to the right Ammonium Sulfate or Ammonium Nitrate proportion of 50:50.

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This was finish by persistent examinations.

The explosions that occurred which are at 7:32 am on 21st September 1921 at Silo 110 of the plant, forming a cavity 90 m by 125 m wide and 19 m deep. The blasts were heard as two loud bangs in north-eastern France and in Munich that more than 300 km away and are assessed contained an energy of 1 to 2  kilotonnes proportionate.

Upon on the day of the incidents, the storehouse contained roughly 4500 t of Ammonium Sulfate Nitrate. The size of the crater formed by the explosion correlated to the explosion of 300 – 400 t of Ammonium Sulfate Nitrate. Official Human Casualty was stated that more than 561 was deaths, 1952 harmed and 7500 people was left homeless. Among the victims include passengers from three worker trains arriving on-site for change of shift. The children on their way to school were injured, boats on the Rhine River sustained damage with numerous sailors also injured. Eye injury was observed in several cases. 80% of the structures in Oppau were pulverized in view of an incidents. Substantial damage was also reported in Ludwigshafen and Mannheim. Massive glass debris on the roads of Heidelberg which is 30 km from Oppau and also interrupted traffic in the city.

According to an article New York Times dated 29 January 1922, the material damage was stated at 321,000,000 marks and it cost 1,700,000 $. Only 10% of the stored of fertilizer which contain 450 t was involved in the explosion the rest of the fertilizer saved from the explosion. However, its effects glass breakage seen around 30 km that is more damaging than an explosion involving 500 t of TNT. The Human and Social effects index is rated at 6 since 561 people live from the accident.

Key Findings Of Accident

The storage facility was made from a wood development with a concrete establishment that was utilized for drying as well as for the capacity of the blended salt. After the occurrences the drying prepare had been changed at the conclusion of 1920. To secure an item quality with less remaining mugginess, the shower handle called Spritzverfahren was presented and be utilized solely since the starting of 1921. The hot salt arrangement was showered with hot compressed discuss through an atomizer into the capacity region. The dried salt tumbled to the ground like a snow and was either evacuated at once by a conveyer belt within the storage facility and it shaped piles located at distinctive places within the storage facility depending upon the splash course. On the day of the blast, the storehouse contained around 4500 t Ammonium Sulfate Nitrate. The measure of the depression shape shaped by the blast connected to the impact of 300 – 400 t.

The look that made of the blast is to begin with contemplations is the speculations on conceivable causes to the blast centered on components which lead to a deviation within the chemical composition of the blended salt which is the higher Ammonium Nitrate substance and it comes about is an expanded affectability to explosion affect. The action after reasons were talked about the need of care by administrators actuated by the presentation of a modern reward framework which was connected to the generation amount. Furthermore, the presentation of the unused splash prepare from the operating methods coming about within the expansion of off-base sums of Ammonium Sulfate. Besides, a few of the tests taken after the blast from a neighboring adjacent the storage facility was not included within the blast appeared an Ammonium Nitrate substance over 55 %.

Moreover, the impact of the test conditions are the quality of imprisonment of the booster charge was examined. It can be seen that the changes in physical parameters of the blended salt that contains molecule measure, thickness and water substance caused by the move to the modern splash prepare all lead to an increment of affectability to blast affect. Based on the comes, it could be a genuine plausibility that the larger parcels of Ammonium Sulfate Nitrate within the capacity storehouse may well be actuated to blow up by a adequately solid of blast affect, in spite of the fact that the Ammonium Nitrate substance did not essentially surpass 50%.

Related To Accident Theories

Based on the incidents happen, it can be conclude that the theory related to the Oppau 1921 is an Accident and Incident theory. According to Dan Petersen, the accidents and incidents is an extension of the human factors theory. It introduces such as new elements as ergonomics traps, decision to err and system failure.

Ergonomic Traps

Ergonomic traps is components of a design that contribute to the probability of accidents and human error. The designs that are not intuitive or that violate normal human tendencies in terms of behavior and mental processing. Based on the incidents, the lack of care by the operators that induced the addition of wrong amounts of Ammonium Sulfate is too little or Ammonium Nitrate is too high.

System Failure

The department does not establish a comprehensive safety policy and procedures on that company. Their employees also did not receive the proper Safety procedure such as the proper measurement of the amount of Ammonium Sulfate and Ammonium Nitrate, the right place to make an experiments before introduce the new spray process. This company need to make the new policy or standards to avoid the accidents happened again.

Decision to err

The blast of the storage facility contained over than 4500 t of Ammonium Sulfate Nitrate that measure of the hole shaped by the blast connected to the blast of 300-400 t of ASN. Separated from the testing the modern splash that incorporate ASN it causes 561 passing, 1952 harmed and 7500 individuals cleared out destitute. Among the casualties incorporate travelers from three specialist trains arriving on-site for alter of move. The children on their way to school were harmed, pontoons on the Rhine Waterway supported harm with various mariners too harmed. Eye damage was watched in a few cases. 80% of the buildings in Oppau were annihilated. Significant harm was moreover detailed in Ludwigshafen and Mannheim. Enormous glass flotsam and jetsam on the streets of Heidelberg which is 30km from Oppau additionally interrupted activity within the city. The administration ought to build up a comprehensive and security put or a deliberately area sometime recently testing a modern framework or modern item.

Cite this page

The Oppau Explosion. (2019, Dec 19). Retrieved from

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