That's something you don't hear very often

Something described as a "grinding" facility in NW Houston blew up early this morning, damaging houses in a surprisingly large radius.  Two deaths have been reported, apparently from right at the blast site.

Watching the local news coverage, I was struck by three things.  First, police and firefighter representatives are completely comfortable switching back and forth between fluent English and Spanish.  Second, the warning to potential looters was fierce and completely believable, including the advice to consider what happened to Harvey looters (a 20-year sentence, in one case).  Finally, residents were gently encouraged to search their yards and roofs for body parts.  That's a first for me.

The blast showed up clearly on weather radar, a signal covering several square miles.  Here's a shot from a front-porch security camera that was far enough away to require a couple of seconds for the shock wave to hit.


douglas said...

Wow. That's a high intensity blast from *dust* (which is what I'd expect a grinding facility to explode from). Are they sure that's all it was?

A grinding facility is a place that does rough finishing on cast or cut metal pieces by grinding.

There used to be a few just down the hill from me, but they may have been gentrified out by now. Light manufacturing has been getting rarer and rarer around here.

Grim said...

Yes, I also can’t recall being asked to search my roof for flying body parts.

Christopher B said...

Flammable dust + enclosed space + ignition source = fuel-air explosive. Massive concrete grain storage bins have been leveled by similar explosions, The facility was probably sealed tight to keep dust from escaping.

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