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ring of fire
July 15, 2013 9:51 PM   Subscribe

A truck carrying 119 gas cylinders caught fire after colliding with a bus carrying 28 people on Moscow's Ring Road. The truck driver had minor injuries and everyone else escaped unharmed. Then the cylinders began exploding.
posted by stbalbach (58 comments total) 14 users marked this as a favorite

 
I don't want to smell the inside of that police car.
posted by b1tr0t at 9:58 PM on July 15, 2013 [6 favorites]


'effing idiot in front get on the other side of the damn barrier there is something called shrapnel.
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 10:03 PM on July 15, 2013 [2 favorites]


Scream and shout and let it all out indeed.
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 10:04 PM on July 15, 2013 [4 favorites]


Wow, that was amazing. (The way that guy held his camera so steady; no one ever manages that in these videos.)
posted by heyho at 10:04 PM on July 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


Somewhere, Michael Bay is crying and thinking, why? Why wasn't I there with a camera?
posted by Halloween Jack at 10:05 PM on July 15, 2013


Those fragments of hot metal raining down in front of the camera are why the minimum standoff distance for any fire involving tanks or compressed gasses is 800 m/half a mile, and double that for the big trucks.
posted by bonehead at 10:07 PM on July 15, 2013 [2 favorites]


Firefighter to cop:
I think we'll just let this one burn out, OK by you guys?
posted by BlueHorse at 10:07 PM on July 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


The first video is great: the speed with which the driver exits the truck is impressive, and then the driver backs away to safety, only OH SHIT THERE'S A FUCKING GAS TANKER, back some more.
posted by unSane at 10:08 PM on July 15, 2013 [3 favorites]


This is a clip from GTA V, right? Those graphics are so good it looks almost real!
posted by tservo at 10:12 PM on July 15, 2013 [7 favorites]


Smaller explosion than I expected. Once again, videogames beat reality.
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 10:33 PM on July 15, 2013


L4d2 got pretty close and in some ways understated it significantly.

Also, at 3:18 one of the gas tanks tries to make a break for it.
posted by Slackermagee at 10:41 PM on July 15, 2013


I was half expecting that tank that went into rocket mode and flew out of frame to surprise the cameraman from behind.
posted by jason_steakums at 10:46 PM on July 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


'effing idiot in front get on the other side of the damn barrier there is something called shrapnel.

Yes, but I think you're talking about fragmentation.
posted by hal_c_on at 10:50 PM on July 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


I'm building a new computer, and taking a MeFi break while Windows does it's fourth consecutive update. And I was wondering which game I should install first, when I clicked on the video.

Just Cause 2 it is.
posted by Homeboy Trouble at 10:52 PM on July 15, 2013 [14 favorites]


I WANT TO BLEVE
posted by hackwolf at 11:21 PM on July 15, 2013 [11 favorites]


at eight seconds in, in the gap between the box van and the tanker, a burning human figure runs by. for some reason, i had hoped this was a video of an urban disaster without that specific element. I am clearly an asshole.
posted by mwhybark at 11:23 PM on July 15, 2013


at eight seconds in, in the gap between the box van and the tanker, a burning human figure runs by

Most assuredly that is NOT a burning human being. Listen to the explosion, then realize that it's a gas cylinder tumbling off the road.
posted by Purposeful Grimace at 11:26 PM on July 15, 2013


Watch the second video starting at 7:00 and tell me the guy in the blue shirt isn't thinking "Holy shit, I'm a Firebender."
posted by brookedel at 11:31 PM on July 15, 2013 [2 favorites]


Daaamn. I kept thinking it was a good thing most of those metal chunks were doing relatively slow arcs instead of plowing on horizontally. Those watching and filming could have been ground to bits otherwise.
posted by Iosephus at 11:34 PM on July 15, 2013


I would argue that in addition to the truck driver's minor injuries, we are all collectively injured by exposure to the Black Eyed Peas song playing in the car with the dashboard cam. Just as a matter of principle.

Thank you for the fireworks show. Music aside, I'm glad to know no one was hurt or this wouldn't be as entertaining.
posted by scaryblackdeath at 11:34 PM on July 15, 2013 [3 favorites]


Can we all collectively remember this, and that Canadian town that got destroyed by the petrol train derailment, the next time an alternative energy vehicle thread comes up and the naysayers start talking about how driving around with a car full of batteries or fuel cells or hydrogen tanks or whatever is like super dangerous man
posted by danny the boy at 11:38 PM on July 15, 2013 [4 favorites]


Most assuredly that is NOT a burning human being. Listen to the explosion, then realize that it's a gas cylinder tumbling off the road.

enh, maybe. I was watching with sound at zero and there's a "pop" timed just before the motion element. with the sound context, it does time right and seem to be a cylinder tumbling. but
then of course we have a whole bunch of other cylinders exploding and while we do see some that appear to be thrown clear while burning without doing a bomb impersonation, they seem to be in the minority.

However, plausible explanation + casualty report satisfies Occam, so we're good, I think.
posted by mwhybark at 11:42 PM on July 15, 2013


I did watch the video already (those saying the explosions are small are missing the fun parts, repeated explosions, gas cylinders launching themselves into the air, the police pulling up close only to retreat when more cylinder flameballs hurtle their direction) but my question is: do we know what kind of gas this is? Is it propane or...?
posted by whatzit at 12:25 AM on July 16, 2013


Whats with the silver car that doesn't back up? The guy had enough insurance for his car and just ran away or too afraid to get out of the car? did you notice anyone sitting in that car?
posted by TheLittlePrince at 12:29 AM on July 16, 2013


"BOOM BABY!"
posted by happyroach at 12:34 AM on July 16, 2013


scaryblackdeath: "we are all collectively injured by exposure to the Black Eyed Peas song playing in the car with the dashboard cam."
Ah, so that's why I can't watch the video in Germany. Thanks for the explanation.
posted by brokkr at 12:55 AM on July 16, 2013 [2 favorites]


If you watch the second video, there are two guys on foot sort of milling around the head of the vehicle jam, who don't get into the trucks that back up. One of them must be the truck driver (who ran for his life in the first video), and I assume the other is the driver of the silver car; either would have reason to be hailing the cops as they pull up.

I was so, so glad when that tanker truck (talk about your reveals) decided to get the hell out of Dodge.
posted by dhartung at 12:56 AM on July 16, 2013


Thanks for this, we haven't had enough shit blowing up on the Blue
posted by C.A.S. at 2:12 AM on July 16, 2013 [1 favorite]


heyho: "Wow, that was amazing. (The way that guy held his camera so steady; no one ever manages that in these videos.)"

YouTube has a "would you like to deshake this video" option after uploading.
posted by Auz at 2:47 AM on July 16, 2013


Based on how cleanly the stuff is burning, I would have to guess it's something like propane.

Also, the guy driving the truck was driving like a lunatic.
posted by gjc at 3:03 AM on July 16, 2013 [1 favorite]


Yes, but I think you're talking about fragmentation.

n. pl. shrapnel
1. Fragments from an exploded artillery shell, mine, or bomb.


?
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 4:00 AM on July 16, 2013 [2 favorites]


So, it's basically dangerous popcorn.
posted by jon1270 at 4:27 AM on July 16, 2013


Geez... that guy was very brave / stupid to capture that footage. Pretty awesome, though...
posted by ph00dz at 4:32 AM on July 16, 2013


Based on how cleanly the stuff is burning, I would have to guess it's something like propane.

My dad says butane is a bastard gas.
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 4:51 AM on July 16, 2013 [2 favorites]


I'm just impressed that with that raging inferno on the right side of the highway traffic on the left side kept on moving. Here in DC rubbernecking drivers in the unaffected lane would have caused a 10 mile backup as they slammed on their breaks to get a better look.
posted by COD at 4:57 AM on July 16, 2013 [3 favorites]


Apparently crap music radio is a worldwide plague.
posted by Thorzdad at 5:08 AM on July 16, 2013 [2 favorites]


Run. Away.
posted by dry white toast at 5:11 AM on July 16, 2013 [1 favorite]


I have notionally been trained to put out a gas cylinder fire. Fuck that shit, sorry captain.
posted by wilful at 5:14 AM on July 16, 2013 [1 favorite]


I wish we could relocate Japan's sense of wtf-aesthetics and Russia's traffic to Florida.

Because seriously imagine the glory of that all coming together.
posted by oddman at 5:35 AM on July 16, 2013 [4 favorites]


wilful: "I have notionally been trained to put out a gas cylinder fire. Fuck that shit, sorry captain."

Sounds like the 'rule of thumb' described to me by a relative who's a volunteer fireman way out in the sticks: you retreat far enough away until you can cover the whole scene with your thumb, then you call someone else and tell them 'hey there's some stuff over there you should go check it out."

First responder humor is the best, hands down.
posted by jquinby at 5:57 AM on July 16, 2013 [7 favorites]


My wife and daughter are both emergency services people, and this made their morning. Thank you.
posted by doctornemo at 6:06 AM on July 16, 2013


The fire that firemen hate most of all is a sporting goods store. Gas cannisters + ammunition + building on fire == a fun day.
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 6:15 AM on July 16, 2013


Amazing videos! Just in case anybody's wondering, the few times you hear the guy taking the second one speak, it's not Russian, I think it's Tajik.
posted by languagehat at 6:20 AM on July 16, 2013 [1 favorite]


The fire that firemen hate most of all is a sporting goods store.

Well, that and solid rocket fuel plants.
posted by Thorzdad at 6:22 AM on July 16, 2013


Accidental discovery: this video goes incredibly well with Foghat's "Slow Ride".
posted by Ryvar at 6:32 AM on July 16, 2013 [3 favorites]


This reminds me of a Dallas fire in 2007, where a welding gas plant caught fire and filled tanks were exploding and arcing over I-35.

posted by ZeusHumms at 6:41 AM on July 16, 2013 [1 favorite]


I actually just saw this reported on KTVU... Though they reported it as a tanker full of vodka canisters and the driver, Mr. Commie, wrecked because he dropped his Borscht.


Still, I can't imagine what it would feel like to be charged with putting this out/ cleaning this up.

I had a mortar firework not go off on the 4th, and even knowing it was a dud, I still gave it 20 minutes and a good hose down.
posted by Debaser626 at 6:54 AM on July 16, 2013


The smoke column changes at 3:30 from sparse/gray to thick/black, why is that?
posted by anazgnos at 7:17 AM on July 16, 2013


Most industrial plants are bad, bad fires. Any facility that has big or many tanks of ignitable liquid is bad. To get a BLEVE you need three things: combustible liquid that boils between 60C and 400C with a flash point in that range; confined containment-tank, cylinder, even a closed room; and fire. The liquids boil then the vapours ignite, explosively. A huge spherical fireball, followed by mushroom smoke cloud is a BLEVE signature.

Volatile flammable liquified gasses like butane and propane and ammonia are especially dangerous because they're more or less a lit match away from being an explosion. However, with an existing fire, it's really quantity that defines the scope of the problem. A BLEVE is what happened in the Lac Mégantic fire in Quebec recently too, though, unlike the Texas fire above, water was not involved there. That was bad because something like 40 or 50 rail cars, an enormous volume of liquid, boiled and exploded. Generally, any big quantity of easily combustible liquid or liquified gas is a bad fire. In many cases all the fire fighters can do is keep it from spreading and let it burn out.
posted by bonehead at 7:18 AM on July 16, 2013 [1 favorite]


Also the rogue explosion at 7:06, after a few clear minutes as cops and people are pulling back in is pretty cool.
posted by anazgnos at 7:21 AM on July 16, 2013


anazgnos: "The smoke column changes at 3:30 from sparse/gray to thick/black, why is that?"

Not an expert but thinking maybe the fire was hot enough to burn the asphalt and/or the tires.
posted by stbalbach at 7:36 AM on July 16, 2013


Yeah, that's the tires. I saw that happen to a combine harvester a couple of years ago after it caught fire in a field near my house.
posted by unSane at 8:22 AM on July 16, 2013


I like how there are a few vehicles on the other side of the road who drove through. "Fuck this! I have shit to do! C'mon! Like you've never seen a truck full of propane tanks of fire! Fukken tourists!"
posted by boo_radley at 9:04 AM on July 16, 2013 [3 favorites]


this video goes incredibly well with Foghat's "Slow Ride".

Yes, but to be fair that's pretty much true of almost any video.
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 10:30 AM on July 16, 2013 [2 favorites]


"I don't want to smell the inside of that police car."

I was all, hey, are those guys trying to tell the newly-arrived cop that he's way too close, but there's not been any explosions for about a minute so maybe that's the la—BOOM!—*police car backs the fuck up*
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 10:55 AM on July 16, 2013


In post-Soviet Russia explosion tells policeman to back up!
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 11:21 AM on July 16, 2013


I started watching the last video first, and I had it on mute - was listening to Coldcut's 200 Esssential Mix - and just as the really never ending stream of explosions got going, Franz Ferdinand 'This Fire' popped up in the mix. ... isn't it ironic? :)
posted by J0 at 1:53 PM on July 16, 2013


Apparently crap music radio is a worldwide plague.

Crap radio stations is the worldwide plague. Wasn't a problem for a while, before FM was reigned in and automated by responsible members of the community. Sad to say, the same seems to be true of most of Net radio. Can't legislate Quality.
posted by Twang at 4:49 PM on July 16, 2013


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