Explosions- both natural and accidental - have caused awe and terror for centuries. In Bangladesh, sadly explosions are seen creating havoc very frequently.
Although some may be accidents, most of them could have been easily avoided with proper precaution and security measures.
The global history of the explosion is no different than that. Although these explosions have led to stricter safety measures and pressured corporations to change their maleficent practices, it came with a price of millions of people losing their lives.
Here are 10 of the most powerful explosions the world has ever seen-
In 1917, a French cargo ship fully loaded with explosives for World War I accidentally collided with a Belgian vessel in the harbor of Halifax, Canada. It exploded with more force than any man-made explosion before it, equivalent to roughly 3 kilotons of TNT.
The blast sent a white plume billowing 20,000 feet above the city and provoked a tsunami that washed up as high as 60 feet. For nearly 2 km surrounding the blast center, there was total devastation, and roughly 2,000 people were killed and 9,000 injured. It remains the world's largest artificial accidental explosion.
The largest marine oil spill in history began on April 20, 2010, when an explosion rocked the Deepwater Horizon oil rig. Over the following months, tens of thousands of barrels of oil would leak into the Gulf of Mexico each day, as BP engineers struggled to contain the leak. By the time the well was sealed in September 2010, an estimated 4.9 million barrels of oil had leaked into the Gulf, and immense damage had been done to the Gulf's economy and ecology.
Eleven workers were missing and 17 injured in an explosion at the Fireboats responding to the conflagration aboard the Deepwater Horizon rig in the Gulf of Mexico on April 21, 2010.
Tianjin explosion, China
In August, 2015 at China's Tianjin port, a series of explosions shook China let alone the world as the scientists claim it to be the second more powerful explosion involving the detonation of about 800 tonnes of ammonium nitrate, based on crater size and lethality radius.
The first two explosions occurred within 30 seconds of each other at the facility, which is located in the Binhai New Area of Tianjin, China. The second explosion was far larger and involved the detonation of about 800 tonnes of ammonium nitrate. Fires caused by the initial explosions continued to burn uncontrolled throughout the weekend, resulting in eight additional explosions on August 15.
The cause of the explosions was not immediately known, but an investigation concluded in February 2016 said that an overheated container of dry nitrocellulose was the cause of the initial explosion. The official casualty report was 173 deaths, 8 missing, and 798 non-fatal injuries. Of the 173 fatalities, 104 were firefighters.
Bhopal disaster, India
The single worst industrial accident in history occurred on December 3, 1984, when some 45 tons of the dangerous gas methyl isocyanate escaped from the Union Carbide plant in Bhopal, India. The gas drifted over the densely populated neighbourhoods around the plant, killing thousands of people immediately and creating a panic as tens of thousands of others attempted to flee Bhopal. The final death toll was estimated to be between 15,000 and 20,000, while a half million survivors suffered respiratory problems, eye irritation or blindness.
Three Mile Island, USA
The worst nuclear accident in US history began at 4:00 am on March 28, 1979, when an automatically operated valve in Three Mile Island's Unit 2 reactor mistakenly closed, shutting off the water supply to the main feedwater system (the system that transfers heat from the water actually circulating in the reactor core). This caused the reactor core to shut down automatically, but a series of equipment and instrument malfunctions, human errors in operating procedures, and mistaken decisions in the ensuing hours led to a serious loss of water coolant from the reactor core. As a result, the core was partially exposed, and the zirconium cladding of its fuel reacted with the surrounding superheated steam to form a large accumulation of hydrogen gas, some of which escaped from the core into the containment vessel of the reactor building. Very little of this and other radioactive gases actually escaped into the atmosphere. Although the accident had few apparent health consequences for the surrounding population, it had widespread and profound effects on the American nuclear power industry.
Texas City Disaster, USA
A fire onboard the cargo ship SS Grandcamp docked at Texas City in 1947 detonated 2,300 tons of ammonium nitrate, a compound used in fertilizers and high explosives. The explosion blew two planes out of the sky and triggered a chain reaction that detonated nearby refineries as well as a neighboring cargo ship carrying another 1,000 tons of ammonium nitrate. The disaster killed roughly 600 people and injured roughly 3,500, and is generally considered the worst industrial accident in US history.
Chernobyl, Soviet Union
The list will be incomplete without the infamous Chernobyl explosion that changed the landscape of nuclear power plants for good. In 1986, a nuclear reactor exploded at Chernobyl in Ukraine, then part of the Soviet Union. It was the worst nuclear accident in history. The blast, which blew the 2,000-ton lid off the reactor, sent out 400 times more radioactive fallout than the Hiroshima bomb, contaminating more than 77,000 square miles (200,000 square km) of Europe. Roughly 600,000 people were exposed to high doses of radiation, and more than 350,000 people had to be evacuated from contaminated areas.
Trinity Blast, USA
The first atom bomb in history, dubbed "the gadget," was detonated at the Trinity Site near Alamogordo, N.M., in 1945, exploding with a force of roughly 20 kilotons of TNT. Scientist J. Robert Oppenheimer later said that while he watched the test, he thought of a line from the Hindu scripture the Bhagavad Gita: "I become Death, the destroyer of worlds." Nuclear weapons later ended World War II and ushered in decades of fear of nuclear annihilation. Scientists recently found that civilians in New Mexico may have been exposed to thousands of times the recommended level of public radiation.
The worst mining disaster in US history occurred on December 6, 1907, when an explosion in a coal mine in Monongah, West Virginia, collapsed the mine entrance and its ventilation system during one of the busiest parts of the work day. More than 350 miners—many of them young boys—were killed in the explosion or suffocated as poisonous gas filled the tunnels.
One of Europe's worst mining disasters occurred on March 10, 1906. Almost 1,100 people were killed and hundreds were injured when an explosion rocked the Courrières mine near the Pas-de-Calais hills in northern France. Although smoke and toxic gas were reported at the mine site in the days prior to the explosion, work continued. Mine owners ended search efforts three days after the explosion, declaring the remaining men dead. This undue haste led to intense criticism, in light of the fact that survivors continued to emerge from the mine as many as 20 days after the explosion.
Disclaimer: Information of this article has been collected from different reliable sources