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Dallas had explosive gas this morning.
July 25, 2007 12:53 PM   Subscribe

A bunch of natural gas canisters blew up near downtown Dallas today. Eyewitness video!
posted by punkfloyd (94 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite

 
Link fails for me, Firefox 1.5.
posted by davejay at 12:57 PM on July 25, 2007


This is why I feel so strongly about only purchasing propane and propane accessories.
posted by tkchrist at 12:58 PM on July 25, 2007 [2 favorites]


Thanks! I had heard about this, but I couldn't find video anywhere that I looked.
posted by jefeweiss at 1:02 PM on July 25, 2007


Doesn't work for me either.
posted by OverlappingElvis at 1:04 PM on July 25, 2007 [1 favorite]


ooooh! pretty!!

(if you ignore the fact of the gas cannisters being launched hither and yon like missiles. Literally missile sized and shaped. )
posted by djrock3k at 1:06 PM on July 25, 2007


More details...
WFAA-8
KXAS
KTVT
Dallas Morning News
posted by punkfloyd at 1:07 PM on July 25, 2007


Holy hell, that blowed up real good!
posted by lekvar at 1:08 PM on July 25, 2007


Did Debbie do that?
posted by Cranberry at 1:11 PM on July 25, 2007 [3 favorites]


good god.
posted by boo_radley at 1:13 PM on July 25, 2007


Amazing. The video is far enough away to catch the whole event from several different perspectives. This is either a stunt or arson. Where's the audio?
posted by Mblue at 1:15 PM on July 25, 2007


When are people going to realize that "Quicktime required", "RealPlayer required", and "Windows Video required" are equivalent to "please don't watch my video" nowadays?
posted by Plutor at 1:16 PM on July 25, 2007 [5 favorites]


This is why I feel so strongly about only purchasing propane and propane accessories.

Butane is the bastard gas.
posted by Devils Rancher at 1:18 PM on July 25, 2007


Hmm... maybe I shouldn't have left that propane tank in my car...
posted by jeffamaphone at 1:20 PM on July 25, 2007


More footage, different angle. (May be proceeded by a Cadillac commercial...sorry).
posted by punkfloyd at 1:20 PM on July 25, 2007


video worked for me (ff 2.0)

thanks. I was looking also for video.
posted by Busithoth at 1:21 PM on July 25, 2007


This was a welding gas distributor right around two major highways. Conveniently, it's surrounded by gas stations and liqueur stores. I actually work around there but decided not to go in today. It's gonna be interesting to see the aftermath tomorrow.
posted by puke & cry at 1:24 PM on July 25, 2007


Wow, this was a great preview for Burning Man.
posted by mullingitover at 1:26 PM on July 25, 2007


Longer unedited version with more 'splosions.

OK, I will stop now.
posted by punkfloyd at 1:28 PM on July 25, 2007


Whoa. That sum bitch done got blowed up.
posted by jefbla at 1:29 PM on July 25, 2007


we should clearly ban all flammable gas, god only knows what this stuff could do in the hands of an islamofascist jihadist!@#!@#
posted by quarter waters and a bag of chips at 1:29 PM on July 25, 2007


OK just one more. Here is how it started.
posted by punkfloyd at 1:30 PM on July 25, 2007 [3 favorites]


GODDAMNIT! They only blew up a very small part of Dallas!
posted by loquacious at 1:31 PM on July 25, 2007 [1 favorite]


Thanks punkfloyd. Botteled or piped gas I think. The explosions actually reduce the heat of the fire for a few seconds.
posted by Mblue at 1:32 PM on July 25, 2007


Some pyros wet dream, I am sure.

This happened right outside I-35 directly adjacent to downtown on industrial avenue. I work in the West End which is about a mile away. The explosions were surreal. I could actually see some of the flame balls coming up over the buildings (the main explosions lasted abvout 10 - 12 mins.) That was really the weirdest part, this happening directly adjacent to downtown, and gas bottles and debris getting thrown on to I-35 and the old Zang bridge.

This is the second major fire in the same area in a few weeks. I am thinking we done grewn us up n' arsonist here in Dallas or one of those crazy baptists is trying to blow up all the liquor stores (Dallas is half-way dry... industrial is one of the few streets that is still wet)
posted by Benway at 1:34 PM on July 25, 2007


As I understand it, it was an equipment failure having something to do with a tank on a truck. When it first started the owner of the place was trying to cool down the tanks with a little water hose, which was funny to watch. You know, before he was horribly burned.
posted by puke & cry at 1:39 PM on July 25, 2007


GODDAMNIT! They only blew up a very small part of Dallas! posted by loquacious

Ya know, I live near Dallas...and I had that same reaction. I was all "goddamn it, that's not even the part of town that needs blowin' up!" (First question from one of my friends: Did it take any MBAs with it? No? Fuck it, then.)

As a fun addendum, last I heard, the mix masters where every single freeway feeds is still closed. The entire city is going to be a massive parking lot if they don't open the freeways in time for rush hour. So, that'll be fun.
posted by dejah420 at 1:44 PM on July 25, 2007


god only knows what this stuff could do in the hands of an islamofascist jihadist!@#!@#

Big concern here in Boston: Study spells out high toll on city in LNG attack.
posted by ericb at 1:49 PM on July 25, 2007 [1 favorite]


Oh cool, the physics in Halo are real.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 1:55 PM on July 25, 2007 [2 favorites]


Anyone see the odd fireball traveling to the right in this video about six minutes in?
posted by delmoi at 1:58 PM on July 25, 2007


(at about 6:15-6:25)
posted by delmoi at 1:58 PM on July 25, 2007


delmoi: I believe those are the canisters or their lids shooting off.
posted by punkfloyd at 2:02 PM on July 25, 2007


Those are welding tanks. Apparently they were flying all over the place like missiles.
posted by puke & cry at 2:06 PM on July 25, 2007


When are people going to realize that "Quicktime required", "RealPlayer required", and "Windows Video required" are equivalent to "please don't watch my video" nowadays?

You're right - the 90 or 95% of the world running Windows obviously means you can't rely on windows video.

You'd think there is just some vast conspiracy making you download and install free software to play back these free videos - fascists.
posted by Muddler at 2:07 PM on July 25, 2007


Best Michael Bay film I've ever seen.
posted by mattbucher at 2:07 PM on July 25, 2007 [4 favorites]


Reminded me of the gas station blowing up at the beginning of the Dawn of the Dead re-make, actually.
posted by bardic at 2:12 PM on July 25, 2007


Sure, great...now they are not going to let me take my bottled gas containers with my carry on luggage... thanks a lot! How the hell am I supposed to grill the brats on that flight to L.A.!
posted by HuronBob at 2:16 PM on July 25, 2007


When are people going to realize that "Quicktime required", "RealPlayer required", and "Windows Video required" are equivalent to "please don't watch my video" nowadays?

People who like to watch videos usually install those things. What's the problem?


Also, works for me: Safari 3.0.2, WinXP Pro.
posted by mds35 at 2:17 PM on July 25, 2007


"Reminded me of the gas station blowing up at the beginning of the Dawn of the Dead re-make, actually."

or the boat blowing up at the end of the Dawn remake... (I had to say this 'cuz I was there when they did that scene..... )
posted by HuronBob at 2:17 PM on July 25, 2007


You're right - the 90 or 95% of the world running Windows obviously means you can't rely on windows video.

Exactly.

NetApplications' research study (released yesterday):
Total Market Share
Windows XP 81.94%
Windows Vista 4.52%
Windows 2000 4.00%
Mac OS 3.52%
MacIntel 2.48%
Windows 98 1.14%
Linux 0.71%
Windows NT 0.66%
Windows ME 0.59%
Nintendo Wii 0.17%
Unknown 0.07%
Windows CE 0.06%
Series60 0.02%
Windows 95 0.02%
Hiptop 0.02%
posted by ericb at 2:18 PM on July 25, 2007


In a related story, the price of meth in the Dallas area just went up 5000%.
posted by fandango_matt at 2:21 PM on July 25, 2007


Dallas Explosion
posted by Debaser626 at 2:27 PM on July 25, 2007


I'm watching the raw footage...I'm 16 minutes in and no one has shut down the freeway yet? That seems a bit lax.

Yeah. The sight of the guy spraying the tanks at the start was brave but silly. We're talking stuff that once it gets going like that ain't gonna stop.

When you weld with acetylene, you have to be careful how quickly or slowly you use the gas for fear of setting up a reaction.
posted by maxwelton at 2:29 PM on July 25, 2007


OK just one more. Here is how it started.

That one is amazing.
posted by smackfu at 2:29 PM on July 25, 2007


Oh cool, the physics in Halo are real.

Heh -- that's what I was thinking...

I'm surprised, if this was compressed gas, that it burned that long. I would have thought that there would be one ginormous explosion once the tank was breached.

Was anyone hurt (besides the poor, well-intentioned fellow who was trying to put it out for WAY too long)?
posted by Pantengliopoli at 2:30 PM on July 25, 2007


And that's only a 3-alarm fire?
posted by maxwelton at 2:33 PM on July 25, 2007


Not to derail much, but regarding those folks who think "90%-95%" of users being able to view your content is sufficient -- are you the same people who don't take steps to make your site more accessible to, say, the blind (legally, not necessarily completely), because you only care about the 90%-95% of users who can see well?
posted by davejay at 2:35 PM on July 25, 2007


posted by punkfloyd OK just one more. Here is how it started.

posted by smackfu That one is amazing.


Indeed. It's even better if you listen to Motorhead or Judas Priest while you watch it.
posted by fandango_matt at 2:38 PM on July 25, 2007


I didn't RTFAs, was the guy with the hose hurt? There were a few times that I was sure the explosions must've cooked him, but the water just kept on coming...
posted by rollbiz at 2:39 PM on July 25, 2007


How long did it take the police to shut down I-35? Amazed to see traffic continue with keg-size shrapnel bombs flying around.
posted by stbalbach at 2:39 PM on July 25, 2007


"Dallas had explosive gas this morning."

*burp* Sorry. Excuse me. =) I ate at Taco Bell again. My bad. I just can't resist their Zesty Chicken Bowls!

I went to the laundromat today and the TV was on there and I walk by it and it's talking about Dallas blowing up. I live in Dallas, and I ain't heard no explosions all day. So I just walked right on by the TV and fed my quarters to the little beasties. Kinda weird I need to hear on the TV that something's happening in my own city, and I still question its legitimacy... or relevance. I'm a very self-absorbed individual, I've decided.

I imagine when the end of the world comes, I'll behave about the same way. I'll wait until there's actual explosions in my immediate vicinity before I opt to panic. It'll be fun! I'll run around in circles and scream like a little girl. I'm looking forward to it. Maybe I'll wail and gnash my teeth, even. Pull out my hair. I'll announce to everyone in earshot that it's the end of the world, and some guy doing his laundry will be like, "yeah sure pull the other one."

Plutor: "When are people going to realize that "Quicktime required", "RealPlayer required", and "Windows Video required" are equivalent to "please don't watch my video" nowadays?"

Huh? I got all three of those installed on my machine, plus WinAmp and about a half a dozen others.
posted by ZachsMind at 2:39 PM on July 25, 2007 [2 favorites]


Like popcorn.
posted by D.C. at 2:42 PM on July 25, 2007


Realplayer sucks, but wmp is built into windows, so it wasn't a problem for me. The "the whole thing" video is the only one I watched, and it was pretty sweet. It starts out like "oh, this is kinda interesting" then just gets crazier and crazier.

I didn't RTFAs, was the guy with the hose hurt? There were a few times that I was sure the explosions must've cooked him, but the water just kept on coming...

I was wondering why he bothered. But it looks like you can see someone running away near where the hose was coming from at one point.
posted by delmoi at 2:43 PM on July 25, 2007


Two people were seriously burned (the two people from the gas distributor) and the driver of the truck got hurt trying to get the fuck out. And one reporter got hit with shrapnel, I think he's fine though.
posted by puke & cry at 2:44 PM on July 25, 2007


My favorite is the spinning splosion tank at about 4:40 in the last link
posted by Debaser626 at 2:49 PM on July 25, 2007


Yeah... that guy... not so smart.Like peeing in a volcano
posted by Debaser626 at 2:50 PM on July 25, 2007


This was right outside my window. I watched it happen. So, for those of you who were hoping otherwise, I regret to inform you that the explosion did not get me.
posted by dios at 2:51 PM on July 25, 2007 [5 favorites]


The animal shelter where I adopted my dog is right by there. They had some shrapnel land in their parking lot. They've got a picture of the canister on their website. These aren't just little propane tanks that you attach to your grill. These are the nice five foot tall ones that my dad said weigh between 150 and 200 lbs when full. Fortunately, the SPCA is reporting that all the animals are okay and don't need to be moved.

Amazing that only three people were hurt. Frankly, I'm a bit shocked that nobody got in a wreck on the highway as it was happening. Dallas drivers are pretty shitty without a pyrotechnic display distracting them.
posted by Ufez Jones at 2:52 PM on July 25, 2007


:: In other news, quin categorically denies that there is any truth the the rumors that he has finished building an orbital death ray ::
posted by quin at 2:54 PM on July 25, 2007


Although I should note that once he backs off, the video was quite interesting to me to see from that point of view since my office was on the other side of the explosion so I was looking out one of those windows you see behind the smoke.
posted by dios at 2:54 PM on July 25, 2007


They should do this on the 4th of July every year, much better than fireworks.

And you know, you can play WMV on Macs too. (Linux also has players, although none by MSFT).
posted by wildcrdj at 2:56 PM on July 25, 2007


I feel for the foolhardy fellow with the hose.
posted by BrotherCaine at 2:58 PM on July 25, 2007


When it first started the owner of the place was trying to cool down the tanks with a little water hose, which was funny to watch. You know, before he was horribly burned.

Everyone seems to have asked the same question by now, but did anyone get hurt? And where was the fire department?

As well, it looked like a semi-trailer was on fire right at the start, and that set things off.
posted by KokuRyu at 3:04 PM on July 25, 2007


They released the truck driver, he hurt his back. The two plant employees are still in the hospital, one in fair condition and one still in serious condition with burns on his upper body. The plant manager (the guy in serious condition) apparently also lived in the building. So now he's jobless and homeless.
posted by puke & cry at 3:07 PM on July 25, 2007


I regret to inform you that the explosion did not get me.

Yo Quinn, recalibrate that sucker, eh?
posted by schoolgirl report at 3:09 PM on July 25, 2007


punkfloyd, great link on the raw footage. Love how the camera guy backs up a couple times after stuff flies over his head, yet there's the one guy around 8:15 who's standing what seems to be extremely close to the fire, no worries at all.
posted by nomisxid at 3:12 PM on July 25, 2007


For those who didn't pick up on it: welding gas bottles. Acetylene, not natural gas or propane. Bottles, not tanks.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 3:13 PM on July 25, 2007


Not to derail much, but regarding those folks who think "90%-95%" of users being able to view your content is sufficient -- are you the same people who don't take steps to make your site more accessible to, say, the blind (legally, not necessarily completely), because you only care about the 90%-95% of users who can see well?

Windows Media Player is the video player of choice for blind people.
posted by srboisvert at 3:14 PM on July 25, 2007 [1 favorite]


That video was so exciting my own gas cannister exploded.
posted by Astro Zombie at 3:15 PM on July 25, 2007


Acetylene, hydrogen, helium and oxygen is what they're saying now.
posted by puke & cry at 3:17 PM on July 25, 2007


The helium canisters get the best airtime.
posted by smackfu at 3:26 PM on July 25, 2007


what? nobody's mentioned terrorism yet?
posted by spish at 3:28 PM on July 25, 2007 [2 favorites]


TERRORISM!
posted by tehloki at 3:40 PM on July 25, 2007 [1 favorite]


They were just talking to one of the employees on the news who said that once the first tank exploded he started running like hell for a mile. Also, the back of his work shirt has the plant name and the words "Safety first!" printed on it. He also said the tanks weigh 60 pounds.
posted by puke & cry at 3:54 PM on July 25, 2007


Not terrified in the least.
posted by bwg at 3:57 PM on July 25, 2007


I was wondering why he bothered. But it looks like you can see someone running away near where the hose was coming from at one point.

It's been mentioned a few times, but I'll add: What I strongly suspect he was trying to do was to cool the surrounding tanks, rather than fight the main fire. A somewhat heroic (although very dangerous) decision assuming he had no fire retardant bunker gear.

In my stint as a volunteer firefighter, if you're in a densely settled area and the original burning house is a lost cause, you turn some to most of your attention to wetting and cooling the nearby houses or whatever to keep them from going up as well, either from jumping embers or the sheer heat of the original blaze.
posted by rollbiz at 3:57 PM on July 25, 2007 [1 favorite]


The flying tanks were cool.

But not nearly as cool as a fireworks factory fire in the Netherlands.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 4:35 PM on July 25, 2007 [3 favorites]


I was there! About 5 minutes after it started. Flames 100 feet high, (guessing) and an unearthly "whoosh" that sounded like a high-powered water hose aimed at metal...it was the gas burning, I suppose. Ash was falling on my car where the police had stopped me and the rest of the traffic, a block away. I had my baby son with me, so I'm glad none of the large flaming gas canisters I saw rocketing in the air, trailing fire, landed on us.

The local news people were creaming their jeans, I have to tell you...usually the weather is the most exciting part of our news.

Watching that idiot with the water hose on the news later...dude. You're not helping, leave already.
posted by emjaybee at 4:41 PM on July 25, 2007


C_D: really cool aside from the 23 dead and 950 injured.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 4:45 PM on July 25, 2007


a family member works at UT Southwestern (about 4mi from the explosion) and didn't know anything was happening until an hour later. She said she thought she heard thunder, but assumed it was just the construction going on inside the complex.
posted by WhipSmart at 5:38 PM on July 25, 2007


i can't believe nintendo wii has .17% browser market share
posted by AloneOssifer at 6:41 PM on July 25, 2007


C_D: really cool aside from the 23 dead and 950 injured.

Damn, I didn't know it was that many. I kinda figured there had to be at least a dozen, though. The large explosion at the end (whose shockwave knocked the videographer off his feet) was probably pushing enough air to crush the chests of anyone near it, never mind the insane heat.

Still, can't really blame the fireworks company on that: the initial fire (+works) went on for a long ass time before the stockroom finally blew. Probably a few thousand gallons of nastiness under cryo. But that shit burns hot, and after that long, something's gotta give.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 7:00 PM on July 25, 2007


After actually getting around to watching the video footage...

Nice. Close to downtown, so the cameradude was able to get Reunion Tower in the shot. I drive I-35 almost daily. Good thing today's my day off, or I mighta been knee deep in the traffic. A week or so ago I saw smoke coming from some buildings to the east of I-35, again just south of Reunion Tower, but there weren't any explosions that time. Today's footage looks to be west of I-35. That bridge looks familiar. Looks to be near Industrial Blvd.

About 25 seconds in the guy who goes to inspect the cannister that's on fire? I'm hoping he's not a native Texan, cuz that'd just make us look all manner of stupid.
posted by ZachsMind at 7:08 PM on July 25, 2007


Woooaah... so I was poking around YouTube and found a much better video of the fireworks factory explosion in the Netherlands. It's an interview (in Dutch, I'm guessing) with the guy who shot the video. It's shot from maybe five blocks away from the factory in the streets. He seeks refuge inside after one of the early explosions, then is crazy enough to step outside during the lull right before the entire factory goes up in a mushroom cloud. Fucking nuts.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 7:26 PM on July 25, 2007


Here's the place on google maps.
posted by puke & cry at 7:49 PM on July 25, 2007


And the AP reporting was really bad.
posted by ilsa at 8:32 PM on July 25, 2007


Civil_D, I was just watching your 'much better video' and I kept expecting the Statue of Liberty's head to come flying out.

This video remains one of the most impressive explosions I've ever seen. That you can clearly see the shockwave shoot across the desert is amazing to me.
posted by quin at 9:05 PM on July 25, 2007


C_D; your last comment makes you sound like an asshole.
You read gnfti's comment right?
posted by jouke at 10:23 PM on July 25, 2007


Anybody remember the marshmallows?
posted by pax digita at 2:56 AM on July 26, 2007


C_D; your last comment makes you sound like an asshole.
You read gnfti's comment right?


Uh huh. You read mine, right? Where exactly is the assholishness you're talking about?
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 5:05 AM on July 26, 2007


I can't belive they built a fireworks factory in the middle of a residential area
posted by delmoi at 7:22 AM on July 26, 2007


Probably a few thousand gallons of nastiness under cryo.

Yeah, and then there's the tinfoil hat notion that they had stored faulty land mines in there as well (a rumour brought into the world, if memory serves, by a single journalist five years after the fact and without any independent witnesses ever coming to the fore, so I find it hard to believe).

Oh, and no needle moving on my assholery detector, C_D.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 7:51 AM on July 26, 2007


After seeing how close this place is to Dealey plaza, and noting the uncanny resemblanc to George Romero films, I come to the inescapable conclusion that Zombie JFK is behind this.
posted by TedW at 10:57 AM on July 26, 2007


There's actually a much better video I discovered later on the Enschede disaster (the fireworks factory explosion). It was done by the Discovery Channel; the voiceover is English, as are many of the interviews (since nearly everyone speaks English in Holland), though not all. Still, it's enough to get a good understanding of the fire's impact on the city. All six parts here on YouTube.

And jouke, so you understand, I am simultaneously recognizing that it is a tragic event while at the same time am, like any other normal human being, fascinated by it. You don't often see the results of that much explosive force within urban confines except during times of war, and even then this explosion would have rivaled a lot of what the U.S. military has on stock.

That you can clearly see the shockwave shoot across the desert is amazing to me.

Watch the Discovery Channel videos and you'll see a shockwave from the Enschede explosion as well. There were two or three different cameras that caught the whole thing, so you can see it from many different angles. The Discovery Channel episode even has a 3D simulation of the city that shows you the position of the camera operators in relation to the actual factory.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 5:19 AM on July 27, 2007


Huh. I'm at work, so I can't give it a thorough viewing (or hear the audio), but that looks really interesting, even FPP-worthy. Thanks for digging it up, C_D.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 9:18 AM on July 27, 2007


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