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Great Balls of fire
November 22, 2006 7:41 PM   Subscribe

Maybe it's not really news because no one was killed, but you'd think that more people would notice when a massive explosion in suburban Boston totals 60 buildings, knocks out windows for a half mile around, knocks people out of bed in the middle of the night, and registers on the Richter scale 30 miles away.
posted by alms (46 comments total)

 
Most of us in Massachusetts are patiently waiting for Gov. Mitt to somehow tie this to gay marriage.
posted by yhbc at 7:46 PM on November 22, 2006 [1 favorite]


The explosion didn't call anyone a 'n***er', so it must not be important news.
posted by ninjew at 7:53 PM on November 22, 2006


Most of us are getting ready for Thanksgiving, too busy to notice stuff in Massachusetts.
posted by stbalbach at 7:54 PM on November 22, 2006


actually, some of us here in Michigan were aware of this. Why do you say it isn't news?
posted by HuronBob at 7:57 PM on November 22, 2006


BOOM!
posted by flapjax at midnite at 7:58 PM on November 22, 2006


Sorry about that, hope it didn't smell too bad.
posted by econous at 8:01 PM on November 22, 2006


Looks pretty bad. Not the fault of my cabbage diet.
posted by econous at 8:04 PM on November 22, 2006


Wow. Looking at the pictures and ... just wow. I can't wait to hear about what caused this. One article says the plant had an exemplary safety and proceedures record, which I infer several interesting possibilities: negligent inspections, sabotage, faulty proceedures (something about the regulations and actual circumstances created the conditions of the explosion), or meteor strike.
posted by wobh at 8:08 PM on November 22, 2006


Why do you say it isn't news?

If it's not on the front page of the New York Times, the Washington Post, or Metafilter, it doesn't exist. Now that it's on Metafilter it's real, which makes me feel much better.
posted by alms at 8:16 PM on November 22, 2006


it's been all over google news all day.
posted by quonsar at 8:22 PM on November 22, 2006


you'd think that more people would notice

I didn't notice, but that's because I'm many hundreds of miles away. By the number of stories on google news, the Boston explosion is second only to the Polish mine explosion among explosions in the news today.
posted by sfenders at 8:27 PM on November 22, 2006


I don't even work that far from Danvers, and I didn't hear about it until this afternoon when I heard a couple of coworkers talking about how they felt it and thought it was an earthquake.

It really is amazing & wonderful that no one was killed and that no one was even very seriously hurt. However, it's really sad to have this crap happen right before the holidays. I can't even imagine losing my home the day before Thanksgiving.
posted by tastybrains at 8:29 PM on November 22, 2006


Danvers. Architectural purists everywhere must be weeping.
posted by Kwantsar at 8:30 PM on November 22, 2006


Notice? It was on the adscreen in the lift here, and I'm in Australia.

What do you want, a parade?
posted by pompomtom at 8:41 PM on November 22, 2006


What do you want, a parade?

Well, it will be Thanksgiving here tomorrow...
posted by tastybrains at 8:42 PM on November 22, 2006


Forget Massachusetts. Everyone knows the first Thanksgiving took place in Virginia, anyway.
posted by emelenjr at 8:53 PM on November 22, 2006


Holy shit. It's really awesome that no one was seriously injured.
posted by The Great Big Mulp at 8:54 PM on November 22, 2006


I wasn't implying that Thanksgiving originated here.
posted by tastybrains at 8:58 PM on November 22, 2006


Notice? It was on the adscreen in the lift here, and I'm in Australia.

What do you want, a parade?


do you mean to say australia's finally got enough people to hold one?
posted by pyramid termite at 9:04 PM on November 22, 2006 [1 favorite]


Remember in the beginning of V for Vendetta when he blows up the Old Bailey, and the news suggested that it was something other than what it actually was?

Yeah, this is probably nothing like that.
posted by quin at 9:07 PM on November 22, 2006


emelenjr, once you know the sordid history behind what actually happened on Thanksgiving (and the events around it), and the holidays origin as 19th C romantic nationalism, it opens the door to revisionism and new "real" thanksgivings. I'm just surprised its taken this long for VA to make a claim. Although St. Petersburg FL must go back even earlier.
posted by stbalbach at 9:12 PM on November 22, 2006


stbalbach, if you're referring to this story that made the rounds, it was historically inaccurate. It was a clumsy attempt to link the Pequot War of 1637 with the Plimouth colonists of 1620.

One need not view Thanksgiving through rosy idyllic nostalgia to think of it positively. The first Pilgrim Thanksgiving was a peaceful cultural exchange. What happened afterward, when more colonists came and needed land to farm, is still deplorable -- but it doesn't have much to do with that first Thanksgiving.
posted by dhartung at 9:31 PM on November 22, 2006


I blame nuclear boyscouts.
posted by b1tr0t at 9:45 PM on November 22, 2006


Blowing up Danvers is a Thanksgiving miracle!
posted by Laen at 10:19 PM on November 22, 2006


I travelled to my parent's home for Thanksgiving, not too far from Danvers. When I opened the door, my father asked me if I had heard about the insurance fraud. So in my little world, both the news and the conspiracy/truth travelled at the same speed.
posted by allen.spaulding at 10:55 PM on November 22, 2006


Wow. That's just a couple of towns over from me. I was up at that time last night, too. Didn't feel anything.
posted by roomwithaview at 11:56 PM on November 22, 2006


I (like my CEO) blame bit rot.
posted by public at 12:01 AM on November 23, 2006


I blame the boston baked beans.
posted by Kickstart70 at 12:18 AM on November 23, 2006


Hah, you think what happened on the original Thanksgiving was shocking, you should hear the story of the first Arbor Day. And we just keep killing them. Killing them and killing them and killing them. And hanging tire swings on them, and nailing ugly birdhouses to them.
posted by XMLicious at 2:06 AM on November 23, 2006


Preliminary investigations suggest that the explosion began when a bus plunged off the road into the chemical plant.
posted by grouse at 3:10 AM on November 23, 2006


I suspect this is just the beginning of a terror war with the giant Amazonian centipedes.
posted by loosemouth at 3:53 AM on November 23, 2006


I was at Beverly Hopspital (3 miles) away that night, on-call, and slept through the explosion. If the ED hadn't called me to give me a heads up, I would've never known.
posted by scblackman at 4:36 AM on November 23, 2006


That's nothin' .... in the old days after the explosion the molasses would flood the village.
posted by R. Mutt at 5:49 AM on November 23, 2006


Remember in the beginning of V for Vendetta when he blows up the Old Bailey, and the news suggested that it was something other than what it actually was?

Remember, remember the twenty-second of November?

Them terrorists sure gots a lousy sense of meter.
posted by rokusan at 6:19 AM on November 23, 2006


The company that owns the facilities that exploded is called Cai Incorporated. 126 Water Street, Danver, MA.

They made inks for (I assume) industrial printing.

There's not a lot of information about them on the Net, unfortunately.
posted by kalessin at 6:27 AM on November 23, 2006


Remember, remember the twenty-second of November?

Some of us old farts do. But it means nothing to you whippersnappers.
posted by languagehat at 6:47 AM on November 23, 2006


Jonathan Franzen predicted this quite accurately, way back in 1992.
posted by Eater at 7:49 AM on November 23, 2006


Jeez. 60 buildings? There were photos of a firefighter at his mom's house across the street from the explosion. Scary.

And, loosemouth's comment notwithstanding, can I please be the first to suggest terrorism?? Please?

"I really thought it was terrorism. That's how high the flames were," homeowner Carolyn Dabose said.
posted by dozo at 9:38 AM on November 23, 2006


Bang!
posted by Luddite at 9:48 AM on November 23, 2006


I was about to say that the lack of pwoplwe running around shouting "terrorism" was a sign of progress, but I see we have that covered.
posted by Artw at 11:37 AM on November 23, 2006


How awesome that no one was killed.
posted by five fresh fish at 12:03 PM on November 23, 2006


languagehat : Some of us old farts do. But it means nothing to you whippersnappers.

I'm guessing that you are referring to the 1718 death of Blackbeard. I remember it was shock to us all.
posted by quin at 1:49 PM on November 23, 2006


Obviously I jest.
posted by quin at 1:50 PM on November 23, 2006


Any time an industrial plant explodes, I can't help but think of the PEPCON rocket fuel plant that created 3.0 and 3.5 earthquake readings. It doesn't take terrorism to make a chemical plant go boom, sometimes just a single spark and a whole lot of bad decisions beforehand (8.9 tons of rocket fuel? yeah, lets store that in the parking lot, all clusterd up together in one big pile).
posted by nomisxid at 5:58 PM on November 23, 2006


Whenever I hear "industrial explosion" I think of Texas City, which exploded once in 1947 and again in 2005. The entire place is basically a giant power keg just waiting to go off.
posted by bob sarabia at 6:31 PM on November 23, 2006


Hmm... combine this with the mysterious helium shortage, and there's some kind of ultra-cool HG Wellsian conspiracy egg just waiting to hatch.
posted by rokusan at 10:26 AM on November 24, 2006


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