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(Some Guy)   Sunken WWII US freighter a timebomb ready to blow. Could produce biggest non-nuclear explosion ever   ( divider line
    More: Cool  
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48131 clicks; posted to Main » on 20 Aug 2004 at 2:54 AM (13 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»

108 Comments     (+0 »)

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2004-08-19 08:38:00 PM  
I wwant a video of it when it does finally blow up.
2004-08-19 08:44:14 PM  
1) Board up all the windows in town.
2) Evacuate.
3) Blow up the ship at high tide.
4) Videotape the resulting explosion.
5) Release said video on the Internet.
6) Profit!

Do I have to think of everything?
DAR [TotalFark]
2004-08-19 08:54:36 PM  
Why the fark did they wait 60 years to deal with this problem.

Demolition or salvage teams could have safely removed or raised the wreak during the first year or two of the ship sinking.

Damn Brits always taking their time about doing things.
2004-08-19 08:59:13 PM  
yea...the video..[golf clap]
2004-08-19 09:34:40 PM  
I think this screams Photoshop...
[image from too old to be available]
2004-08-19 09:47:37 PM  
A column of water a thousand feet wide and ten-thousand feet high?

2004-08-19 09:47:41 PM  
Where's the Dynamite Monkey when you need him?
2004-08-19 10:03:18 PM  
I blame Bush!
2004-08-19 11:08:09 PM  
Why the fark did they wait 60 years

Because it was dangerous then. At the time the "wait until we figure out a better way" idea made sense (like the policy of dispensing nuclear waste today). Now the age and dampness has made it a larger problem (perhaps an inevitable disaster). Apparently they used the lets ignore it logic, but the problem just did not go away.
2004-08-19 11:27:52 PM  
Drop a MOAB and see what happens.
2004-08-19 11:28:33 PM  
I bet a depth charge would clear that little problem up real quick.....
2004-08-19 11:52:15 PM  
Could produce biggest non-nuclear explosion ever

Just out of curiousity, I did a little Googling to see if this was true. Here's some interesting facts from along the way.

* Heligoland, Germany -- 7122 tons of explosives used to destroy fortified U-boat pens in 1947. (So says 1992 Guiness World Records, which marks this as the largest non-nuclear explosion)

* Oppau, Germany -- 4500 tons of fertilizer explode. Ammonium nitrate was apparently not considered explosive until this point. :-)

* Halifax Explosion -- approx 2545 tons of various types of explosives/ammomunition/precursors explode onboard an ammo ship.

* Texas City (aka Galveston Bay) explosion -- 2300 tons of ammonium nitrate explode on first ship, hours later 961 tons on another ship goes off.

* Seymour Narrows -- 1375 tons of explosives used to deepen a channel.

* Messines Ridge offensive -- 500 tons of explosives placed in secret tunnels under German lines (1917, WW1) and detonated. Well, mostly, Turns out a few didn't go off. There are about 80,000 pounds still out there somewhere. One went off in 1955 and left a huge crater.

* Testing for 1st atomic bomb -- 100 tons of TNT detonated during tests leading up to the Trinity test.

* T-12 bomb -- 22 tons, largest bomb ever in US arsenel.

* Soviet gas pipeline explosion -- ??? tons. During the cold war, the soviets were stealing / illegally importing US technology. The CIA made a few "tweaks" resulting in a massive 1982 explosion.

Of course, natural events like asteroid impacts and volcano eruptions are kinda big, too.
2004-08-20 12:23:44 AM  

Are those all purely by tons of explosive or is there any consideration of the size fo the explosion. Because not all explosives explode with equal force.
2004-08-20 12:33:17 AM  
Because not all explosives explode with equal force.

Yeah, I know. I left that out because it's just too hard to compensate for (unless you're doing hardcore research). I just used whatever "tons" figure I found.
2004-08-20 12:41:39 AM  
Alrighty then, just checking.
2004-08-20 12:41:43 AM  
[image from too old to be available]

Big baddaboom!
2004-08-20 01:40:21 AM  
* Halifax Explosion -- approx 2545 tons of various types of explosives/ammomunition/precursors explode onboard an ammo ship.

There's a History Channel show about the Mont Blanc explosion. It destroyed a big chunk of the city.
2004-08-20 03:02:12 AM  
Terrorists ought to jump on that one...seems almost too easy, I mean.
2004-08-20 03:02:20 AM  
Where's the kaboom? There was supposed to be an Earth -shattering kaboom!

2004-08-20 03:02:52 AM  
And there was that kid at the Old Navy...

One please, non smoking.
2004-08-20 03:03:58 AM  
Surf's up, dude.
2004-08-20 03:09:30 AM  
2004-08-20 03:09:46 AM  
Those Europeans aren't legally allowed to own firearms, but they can piss around with gigantic bombs?

Don't seem right, somehow.
2004-08-20 03:17:21 AM  
A request to any British Farkers: Someone put a webcam near that sucker so we farkers can stare at it until it goes off...
2004-08-20 03:18:54 AM  
Fnord Big baddaboom!

That was the exact image that I got from reading the article. Damn you mind readers.
2004-08-20 03:26:24 AM  
Considering the Halifax explosion flattened a good sized chunk of the city like a nuke had gone off I'm kind of surprised that in this terrorist crazy world they'd be so casual about revealing there's an even bigger bomb waiting for some suicide bomber with a scuba tank and a hand grenage to play with.
2004-08-20 03:26:45 AM  

Perhaps if you had relatives in Sheerness you'd think differently
2004-08-20 03:29:22 AM  
[image from too old to be available]
2004-08-20 03:30:53 AM  
Note to the Americans:
We've found your WMDs. Now please come and collect them.
2004-08-20 03:39:16 AM  
Any suicidal farkers out there? Ive got a great job for ya!
2004-08-20 03:41:03 AM  
Man, a webcam pointing at that thing would be awesome...and may never go off, and eventually old, decrepit Farkers would die in their chairs staring at their monitor watching the damn thing.

Sign me up.
2004-08-20 03:42:40 AM  
Don't forget Port Chicago, California. 5000 tons of ammo went up during WW2. Changed the way the Navy handled explosives. And was important from a racial standpoint, since segregation was still in style and those stuck on might get blown up duty were black.

As for this disaster in waiting, I don't know about the whole "let's cover it in concrete and forget about it" thing. Is this really the best idea that we can come up with in situations like this and even worse, Chernobyl? Just when you think you're an advanced species, some genius wants to stop radioactive death by building a sidewalk over it.
2004-08-20 03:43:48 AM  

<i>Why the fark did they wait 60 years to deal with this problem.</i>

Good ol' American work ethic? lol.
2004-08-20 03:57:20 AM  
Well here's that T-12 bomb....but it was never actually used so I don't think it counts.
2004-08-20 03:58:58 AM  
Old news. They've been very loudly whining about it for the past two years (out of the 60 it's been there) now.

*shrugs* Not much you can do. Besides, the destructive force unleashed by an explosion of that size really won't be comparable to that of, say, a major storm. Add to that the fact that no one's really even sure if the weapons are still live (no way to check other than blowing them up) and all the predictions you hear are absolute worst-case scenarios, and there you have it.
2004-08-20 04:04:34 AM  

2004-08-20 04:15:20 AM  
no one's really even sure if the weapons are still live (no way to check other than blowing them up)

I smell a double-dog dare...
2004-08-20 04:18:36 AM  
Cool... I live on the north side of the River (Southend), and they've been going on about this for years. I don't think anyone around here really pays any attention to it anymore.

Sheerness... No big loss... Believe me!
2004-08-20 04:19:43 AM  
cryogenically freeze it until they have a cure for explosive laden vessels some time in the future
2004-08-20 04:25:41 AM  
...would hurl a 1,000 ft-wide column of mud, metal and munitions almost 10,000 ft into the air, shattering every window in Sheerness and causing widespread damage to buildings.

That would Rock!
[image from too old to be available]
2004-08-20 05:06:21 AM  
[image from too old to be available]

Website about this explosion.
2004-08-20 05:08:40 AM  
One of these days, a group of bored teens from Sheerness are going to take a boat out there...
2004-08-20 05:44:04 AM  
One search party found a cow standing motionless, twice it's normal size obviously inflated by air under pressure. The party quickly shot the animal to save further pain, but it failed to fall down - it was obviously already dead, but the position of it's legs were maintaining it's upright position.

Also in the rounding up and checking procedure, one party entered a Farmhouse at 3.p.m. (4 hours after the blast) and found an elderly couple sitting at the table with the remains of their meal, sitting in a state of shock just looking at each other, with roof debris mingling in with the food.
2004-08-20 05:54:12 AM  
the Admiralty ruled salvage too costly.

in retrospect, however......

and why does the paper think colombians will attack: "A terrorista collision with another vessel.."

yo quiero unexploded bomb ?
2004-08-20 06:01:00 AM  
[image from too old to be available]

Tharr she blows!
2004-08-20 06:05:24 AM  
Why couldnt this be closer to France?

That brings up a second question: How would they surrender to it?

Hell, just drop some dynamite down there and blow it up. When the cops come by, just say you were fishing.

/Today on Bass Pro Outdoors, we have Mic Dundee...
2004-08-20 06:35:03 AM  
Halifax was goofy. Big munitions ship on fire in the harbor, everyone comes down to see the specticle.

help matters any!
2004-08-20 07:04:10 AM  

The ship didn't show any indication that it was carrying any explosives, so people didn't know it was going to blow up.

I'm sure they would have stopped rubbernecking and started panicking and running for cover if they had known.
2004-08-20 07:08:52 AM  
[image from too old to be available]
Seymour Narrows explosion (deliberate) - nearly 1400 tons of explosives. About 40% the size of the Richard Montgomery's explosive potential.

They were eliminating Ripple Rock, a just-barely submerged peak which had sunk quite a few ships.
2004-08-20 07:36:13 AM  
The Dynamite Monkey never fails to crack me up.
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