Tuesday, August 06, 2013

Aftermath

Due to some unusual circumstances I had a chance over the weekend to take photos of the aftermath of the Blue Rhino Propane Plant explosion (and please note I took all of these shots by zoom from a very safe distance):

LynnViehl's Blue Rhino Plant Explosion album on Photobucket

From the conditions the heat must have been unbelievably intense; all of the trees and shrubs immediately surrounding the plant are dead or dying. Scorched heaps of the 53,000 small propane tanks that blew lay everywhere; some had blown apart into twisted hunks of shrapnel. Even the cover on one of the very tall back lot lights had melted into a stringy mess.

While I was initially curious about what had happened, actually seeing the aftermath made me feel very uneasy and upset. The three big white tanks you see in a couple of the shots supposedly hold close to 100K pounds of propane; if they had also exploded it would have been much worse (and I take my hat off to the fire fighters who worked so hard to keep that from happening.) I know several employees at the plant were hurt in the explosion, three critically, and I'm keeping them in my prayers. I'm also pretty sure now that I'm not cut out to be a photo journalist.



12 comments:

  1. Fran K6:06 AM

    Wow, how graphic. I'm with you in complete and utter admiration for fire fighters, wherever they may be. I'll add the injured to my prayers.

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    1. It was pretty terrifying to see in person, Fran. I cannot imagine how those fire fighters had the backbone to stand and spray water to keep the big tanks cooled during the fire. If they had blown, I think they would have leveled everything within a quarter-mile.

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  2. Those are amazing pics, Lynn.

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    1. Thanks, B. It was an unreal sight to see; even the aftermath of some hurricanes I've been through were nothing by comparison.

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  3. Holy cow. When you think of a factory that would be the worst possible place for fire/explosions, this would have to be near the top of the list. This is true horror story stuff.

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    1. What also scared me was how many people reside in homes built near this plant, Lynn. We drove down a block and saw a bunch of houses with kids' toys and swing sets in their yards. I'm hoping they shut it down for good after this.

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  4. There was something so horribly poignant in those shots of the hundreds of canisters, tossed, torched, destroyed. You might not want to be a photojournalist, but your photos say otherwise.

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    1. I don't know, Terlee -- I don't think I could stand the stress of having to photograph things like this all the time. I'd have nothing but nightmares.

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  5. I have no words. I'm sending lots of positive energy to the injured and feeling grateful that we have people willing to be firefighters.

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    1. In the war of life fire fighters are our front line defenders, Darlene. They are all so incredibly brave.

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  6. Amazing and very thought provoking photos. Thank you for sharing.

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    1. Honestly, I debated whether or not to post them for a few days, Jenna; I'm not one to harp on disasters. I just felt so strongly moved -- and shaken -- by seeing this that it felt better to share them.

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