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):
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.