List of the largest artificial non-nuclear explosions

List of the largest artificial non-nuclear explosions

There have been a number of extremely large explosions, many accidental, caused by modern high explosives, older explosives such as gunpowder, volatile petroleum-based fuels such as gasoline (petrol), and other chemical reactions. This list contains the largest known examples, sorted by date starting with the most recent. An unambiguous ranking in order of severity is not possible; a 1994 study by scientists and historians of 130 large explosions suggested that they need to be ranked by an overall effect of power, quantity, radius, loss of life and property destruction, but concluded that such rankings are difficult to assess.[1] The weight of the explosive does not directly correlate with the energy of the explosion; in particular modern high explosives are far more energetic than gunpowder.


Before 1900

Nanaimo mine explosion 
An explosion on 3 May 1887 in Nanaimo, British Columbia, Canada, killed 150 miners.
Flood Rock explosion 
On 10 October 1885 in New York City, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers detonated 300,000 lb of explosives on Flood Rock, annihilating the island, in order to clear the Hell Gate for the benefit of East River shipping traffic.[2] The explosion sent a geyser of water 250 feet (76 m) in the air;[3] the blast was felt as far away as Princeton, New Jersey.[2] The explosion has incorrectly been described as "the largest planned explosion before testing began for the atomic bomb"[3] - the detonation at the Battle of Messines was larger. Rubble from the detonation was used in 1890 to fill the gap between Great Mill Rock and Little Mill Rock, merging the two islands into a single island, Mill Rock.[2]
Mobile magazine explosion 
On 25 May 1865, in Mobile, Alabama, in the Southern United States, an ordnance depot (magazine) exploded, killing some 300 people. This event occurred just after the end of the American Civil War, during the occupation of the city by victorious Federal troops.
Siege of Multan 
On 30 December 1848, in Multan during the Second Anglo-Sikh War, "A shell from a mortar struck a mosque in the city which had been turned into a magazine and stored with 400,000 lb of gunpowder [200 short tons (180 t)]. It blew up with a tremendous explosion which shook the earth for many miles round, and darkened the air with smoke and fragments."[4]
Siege of Almeida (1810) 
On 26 August 1810, in Almeida, Portugal, during the Peninsular War phase of the Napoleonic Wars, French forces commanded by Marshall André Masséna laid siege to the garrison, commanded by British Brigadier General William Cox. A shell made a chance hit on the old castle, which was being used as the main powder magazine. It initially ignited some 4,000 prepared charges, which in turn ignited 150,000 pounds (68,000 kg) of black powder and 1,000,000 musket cartridges. The ensuing explosion killed 600 defenders and wounded 300. The castle was razed to the ground and sections of the defences were damaged. Unable to reply to the French cannonade without gunpowder, Cox was forced to capitulate the following day with the survivors of the blast and 100 cannon. The French lost 58 killed and 320 wounded during the operation.
Delft Explosion 
About 40 tonnes of gunpowder exploded on 12 October 1654, destroying much of the city of Delft in the Netherlands. Over a hundred people were killed and thousands were wounded.


World War I era

T. A. Gillespie Company Shell Loading Plant explosion, or Morgan Depot Explosion 
On 4 October 1918 an ammunition plant - operated by the T. A. Gillespie Company and located in the Morgan area of Sayreville in Middlesex County, New Jersey - exploded and triggered a fire. The subsequent series of explosions continued for three days. The facility, said to be one of the largest in the world at the time, was destroyed, along with more than 300 buildings forcing reconstruction of South Amboy and Sayreville. Though an exact number cannot be determined, it is believed that over 100 people died in this accident.[5]
Split Rock explosion 
On 2 July 1918 a munitions factory near Syracuse, New York, exploded after a mixing motor in the main TNT building overheated. The fire rapidly spread through the wooden structure of the main factory. Approximately 1-3 tons of TNT were involved in the blast, which leveled the structure and killed 50 workers (conflicting reports mention 52 deaths).
A view of the Halifax Explosion pyrocumulus cloud, most likely from Bedford Basin looking toward the Narrows 15-20 seconds after the explosion.
Halifax Explosion 
On 6 December 1917 the SS Imo and SS Mont-Blanc collided in the harbour of Halifax, Nova Scotia. Mont-Blanc carried 2,653 tonnes of various explosives, mostly picric acid. After the collision the ship caught fire, drifted into town, and eventually exploded. More than 2,000 people were killed and much of Halifax was destroyed. An evaluation of the explosion's force puts it at 2.9 kilotons TNT equivalent.[6]
Battle of Messines 
On 7 June 1917, nineteen (of a planned twenty-one) huge mines, containing a total of over 455 t (1,000,000 lb) of ammonal explosives, were set off beneath German lines on the Messines-Wytschaete ridge. The explosion, which killed about 10,000 Germans, was heard as far away as London and Dublin. While determining the actual power of explosions is difficult, this was probably the largest planned explosion in history until the 1945 Trinity atomic weapon test, and the largest non-nuclear planned explosion until the 1947 British Heligoland detonation (below). The Messines mines detonation killed more people than any other non-nuclear man-made explosion in history.
Quickborn Explosion 
On 10 February 1917 a chain reaction in an ammunition plant "Explosivstoffwerk Thorn" in Quickborn-Heide (northern Germany) killed at least 115 people (some sources say over 200), mostly young female workers.
Silvertown explosion 
On 19 January 1917, parts of Silvertown in East London were devastated by a massive TNT explosion at the Brunner-Mond munitions factory. 73 people died and hundreds were injured. The blast was felt across London and Essex and was heard over 100 mi (160 km) away, with the resulting fires visible for 30 mi (48 km).
Black Tom explosion 
On 30 July 1916, 1,000 short tons (910 t) of explosives bound for Europe, along with another 50 short tons (45 t) on the Johnson Barge No. 17, exploded in Jersey City, New Jersey, a major dock serving New York. There were few deaths, but about 100 injuries; also, the buildings on Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty were damaged, along with much of Jersey City.
Lochnagar Mine 
On the morning of 1 July 1916, a charge of 60,000 lb (27 t) of ammonal explosive was blown to start the Battle of the Somme. The explosions constituted what was then the loudest human-made sound in history, and could be heard in London. The mine created a crater 300 ft (90 m) across and 90 ft (30 m) deep, with a lip 15 ft (5 m) high. The crater is known as Lochnagar Crater after the trench from where the main tunnel was started.
Queen Mary explodes during the Battle of Jutland
Battle of Jutland 
On 31 May 1916, three British battlecruisers were destroyed by magazine explosions initiated by shells of the German High Seas Fleet. At 16:02 HMS Indefatigable was cut in two by detonation of the forward magazine and sank immediately with all but 3 of her crew of 1017. At 16:25 HMS Queen Mary was cut in two by detonation of the forward magazine and sank with all but 21 of her crew of 1283. At 18:30 HMS Invincible was cut in two by detonation of the midships magazine and sank in 90 seconds with all but 6 of her crew of 1032.
Faversham explosion 
On Sunday, 2 April 1916, a huge explosion ripped through the gunpowder mill at Uplees, near Faversham, Kent, when 200 tons of TNT ignited. 105 people died in the explosion. The munitions factory was next to the Thames estuary, which explains why the explosion was heard across the estuary as far away as Norwich, Great Yarmouth, and Southend-on-Sea, where domestic windows were blown out and two large plate-glass shop windows shattered.
Alum Chine 
The Alum Chine was a Welsh freighter (out of Cardiff) carrying 343 tons of dynamite for use during construction of the Panama Canal. She was anchored off Hawkins Point, near the entrance to Baltimore Harbor in Baltimore, Maryland, USA. She exploded on 7 March 1913, killing over 30, injuring about 60, and destroying a tugboat and two barges. Most accounts describe two distinct explosions.
Plzeň explosion 
Škoda Works in Plzeň was the biggest ammunition plant in Austria-Hungary. Series of explosions on Friday, 25 May 1917 killed 202 workers and wounded 689. This event inspired Karel Čapek to write a novel Krakatit (1922).

Interwar period

New London School explosion 
On 18 March 1937, a natural gas leak caused an explosion destroying the New London School of the city of New London, Texas. Over 300 students and teachers died.
Oppau explosion 
On 21 September 1921 a silo filled with 4,500 tonnes of fertilizer exploded, killing around 560, largely destroying Oppau, Germany, and causing damage more than 30 km away.

World War II era

USS Arizona
On 7 December 1941 the battleship was lifted from the water when a Japanese bomb detonated in the forward magazine.
Japanese aircraft carrier Unryu 
On 19 December 1944 the carrier disintegrated when torpedoes fired by USS Redfish (SS-395) detonated the forward magazine.
RAF Fauld Explosion 
On 27 November 1944 the RAF Ammunition Depot at Fauld, Staffordshire, became the site of the largest explosion in the UK, when 3,700 tonnes of bombs stored in underground bunkers covering 17,000 square metres exploded en masse. The explosion was caused by bombs being taken out of store, primed for use, and replaced with the detonators still installed when unused. The crater was 30 metres deep and covered 5 hectares. The death toll was approximately 78, including RAF, 6 Italian POWs, civilian employees, and local people. In the similar Port Chicago disaster (below), about half the weight of bombs was high explosive. If the same is true of the Fauld Explosion, it would have been equivalent to about 2 kilotons of TNT.
The explosion of the USS Mount Hood. The smoke trails are left by fragments ejected by the explosion.
USS Mount Hood (AE-11) 
On 10 November 1944 the ammunition ship exploded in Seeadler Harbor at Manus Island with an estimated 3,800 tons of ordnance material on board. Mushrooming smoke rose to 7,000 feet (2000 m), obscuring the ship and the surrounding area for a radius of approximately 500 yards (500 m). Mount Hood's former position was revealed by a trench in the ocean floor 1000 feet (300 m) long, 200 feet (60 m) wide, and 30 to 40 feet (10 to 12 m) deep. The largest remaining piece of the hull was found in the trench and measured no bigger than 16 by 10 feet (5 by 3 m). All 296 men aboard the ship were killed. The USS Mindanao (ARG-3) was 350 yards (320 m) away and suffered extensive damage, with 23 crew killed, and 174 injured. Several other nearby ships were also damaged or destroyed. Altogether 372 were killed and 371 injured in the blast.
Japanese battleship Fusō 
On 25 October 1944, the battleship was cut in two by magazine explosions initiated by torpedoes fired by USS Melvin (DD-680) during the battle of Surigao Strait. No survivors were identified from the crew of 1400.
Cleveland East Ohio Gas Explosion 
On 2 October 1944, liquified natural gas storage tanks in Cleveland, Ohio, exploded. The explosion destroyed 1 square mile (3 km2), killed 130, and left 600 homeless.
Port Chicago disaster 
On 17 July 1944 in Port Chicago, California the SS E. A. Bryan exploded while loading ammunition bound for the Pacific, with an estimated 4,606 short tons (4,178 t) of high explosive, incendiary bombs, depth charges, and other ammunition. Another 429 short tons (389 t) waiting on nearby rail cars also exploded. The total explosive content is described as between 1,600[7] and 2,136[8] tons of TNT. 320 were killed instantly, another 390 wounded. Most of the killed and wounded were African American enlisted men. Following the explosion, 258 fellow sailors refused to load ordnance; 50 of these, called the "Port Chicago 50", were convicted of mutiny even though they were willing to carry out any order that did not involve loading ordnance under unsafe conditions.[9]
Japanese aircraft carrier Shokaku 
On 19 June 1944 the carrier disintegrated when torpedoes fired by USS Cavalla (SS-244) detonated the bomb magazine.
West Loch Disaster 
On 21 May 1944 an ammunition handling accident in Pearl Harbor destroyed six LSTs and 3 LCTs. Four more LSTs, ten tugs, and a net tender were damaged. Eleven buildings were destroyed ashore and nine more damaged. Nearly 400 military personnel were killed.
Bombay Docks Explosion 
On 14 April 1944 the SS Fort Stikine, carrying around 1,400 long tons (1,400 t) of explosives (among other goods), caught fire and exploded, killing around 800 people.
USS Liscombe Bay (CVE-56) 
On 24 November 1943 the escort carrier sank in 23 minutes with 644 of its crew when a torpedo fired by Japanese submarine I-175 detonated the bomb magazine.
The magazine of Roma's number two 15-inch (381-mm) turret explodes on 9 September 1943.
Italian battleship Roma 
On 9 September 1943 the battleship was cut in two when the magazine for the #2 turret was detonated by a German Fritz X MCLOS precision-guided munition after Italy had signed an armistice with the Allies. There were 596 survivors from a crew of 1849.
Japanese battleship Mutsu 
While anchored near Hashirajima on 8 June 1943, the battleship was cut in two by an unexplained detonation of the magazine for #3 turret. The bow sank quickly, but the inverted stern remained afloat for 14 hours. There were 353 survivors of the 1474 aboard during the detonation.
British escort carrier HMS Avenger (D14) 
On 15 November 1942 the escort carrier sank with all but 12 of its 550-man crew when a torpedo fired by U-155 detonated the bomb magazine.
Convoy SC 107 
On the night of 3 November 1942, torpedoes detonated the ammunition cargo of the 6690-ton British freighter Hatimura. Both the freighter and attacking submarine U-132 were destroyed by the explosion.[10]
SS Surrey 
On the night of 10 June 1942, U-68 torpedoed the 8600-ton British freighter Surrey in the Caribbean Sea. Five-thousand tons of dynamite in the cargo detonated after the ship sank. The shock wave lifted U-68 out of the water like a torpedo hit, and both diesel engines and the gyrocompass were disabled.[11]
HMS Barham's main magazines explode, 25 November 1941
HMS Barham (04) 
On 25 November 1941, the battleship rolled over after being torpedoed by U-331 and disintegrated from multiple magazine detonations attributed to inappropriately stored anti-aircraft ammunition. Film of the explosion was kept secret in deference to the 861 casualties, but has been widely viewed since the war.
HMS Hood (51) 
On 24 May 1941 the battle cruiser sank in three minutes after the stern magazine detonated during the Battle of the Denmark Strait. The wreck has been located in three pieces, suggesting additional detonation of a forward magazine. There were only 3 survivors from the crew of 1418.
On 13 September 1939 the French cruiser Pluton exploded and sank while offloading naval mines in the port of Casablanca, in French Morocco. The explosion killed 186 men, destroyed 3 nearby armed trawlers, and damaged 9 more.

Post World War II era

Enschede fireworks disaster 
On 13 May 2000 about 177 tonnes of fireworks exploded in the Dutch town of Enschede. 23 people were killed and hundreds injured.
Ufa train disaster 
On 4 June 1989, a gas explosion destroyed two trains in the Soviet Union.[12]
PEPCON disaster 
On 4 May 1988 about 8,500,000 lb (3,900 t) of ammonium perchlorate either burned or exploded in a fire and massive explosions near Henderson, Nevada. Two people were killed and hundreds injured. The largest explosion was estimated to be equivalent to a 1 kiloton nuclear air burst.1
Minor Scale and Misty Picture 
Many very large deliberate detonations have been carried out in order to simulate the effects of nuclear weapons on vehicles and military material in general.[13] The largest publicly-known test was conducted by the United States Defense Nuclear Agency (now part of the Defense Threat Reduction Agency) on 27 June 1985 at the White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico. This test, called Minor Scale, used 4744 short tons of ANFO, with a yield of about 4 kt.[14] Misty Picture was another similar test a few years later, just slightly smaller (4,685 short tons/4,250 t).
Another similar test (Operation Blowdown) was a joint UK-Australian test on 18 July 1963 in the Iron Range area of Queensland, Australia, to test the feasibility of nuclear weapons for clearing forests and using mangled forests to slow troop movement in South East Asia, primarily Indonesia and Malaysia in the escalation against Sukarno and the Konfrontasi Malay Emergency and with a view to later Myanmar conflict[further explanation needed] and Vietnam War simmering at the time.[15][Full citation needed][16][not specific enough to verify]
N1 Launch explosion 
On 3 July 1969, an N1 rocket in the Soviet Union exploded on the launch pad, after a loose bolt was ingested into a fuel pump. The entire rocket contained about 680,000 kg (680 t) of kerosene and 1,780,000 kg (1,780 t) of liquid oxygen.[17] Using a standard energy release of 43 MJ/kg of kerosene gives about 29 TJ for the energy of the explosion (about 6.93 kt TNT equivalent). Comparing explosions of initially unmixed fuels is difficult (being part detonation and part deflagration), but this may be the largest artificial non-nuclear explosion in history, based on the energy equivalent of the ingredients.
Medeo Dam, near Alma-Ata, Kazakhstan 
On 21 October 1966 a mud flow protection dam was created by a series of four preliminary explosions of 1,800 tonnes total and a final explosion of 3,600 tonnes of ammonium nitrate–based explosive. On 14 April 1967 the dam was reinforced by an explosion of 3,900 tonnes of ammonium nitrate–based explosive.
CHASE 6, off New Jersey 
On 28 July 1966, Horace Greeley was loaded with obsolete munitions and detonated at a depth of 4000 feet (1.2 km).[18]
CHASE 5, off Puget Sound 
On 23 May 1966, Izaac Van Zandt was loaded with 8,000-short-ton (7,300 t) of obsolete munitions containing 400-short-ton (360 t) of high explosives. The cargo was detonated at a depth of 4000 feet (1.2 km).[18]
Operation Sailor Hat, off Kaho'olawe Island, Hawaii 
A series of tests was performed in 1965, using conventional explosives to simulate the shock effects of nuclear blasts on naval vessels. Each test saw the detonation of a 500-short-ton (450 t) mass of high explosives.
500 short tons (450 t) tons of HE awaiting detonation for Operation Sailor Hat
Detonation of explosive during Operation Sailor Hat, with shock front visible moving across the water and shock condensation cloud visible overhead
CHASE 3 and 4, off New Jersey 
On 14 July 1965, Coastal Mariner was loaded with 4,040-short-ton (3,670 t) of obsolete munitions containing 512-short-ton (464 t) of high explosives. The cargo was detonated at a depth of 1,000 feet (300 m) and created a 600-foot (200 m) water spout, but was not deep enough to be recorded on seismic instruments. On 16 September 1965, Santiago Iglesias was similarly detonated with 8,715-short-ton (7,906 t) of obsolete munitions.[18]
CHASE 2, off New Jersey 
On 17 September 1964, offshore disposal of the ship Village containing 7,348-short-ton (6,666 t) of obsolete munitions caused unexpected detonations 5 minutes after sinking. The detonations were detected on seismic instruments around the world, and encouraged intentional detonation of subsequent disposal operations to determine detectability of underwater nuclear testing.[18]
Ripple Rock, Canada 
On 5 April 1958 an underwater mountain was leveled by the explosion of 1,375 tonnes of Nitramex 2H, an ammonium nitrate–based explosive.
Cali Explosion, Colombia 
On 7 August 1956 seven trucks from the Colombian army, carrying more than 40 tons of dynamite, exploded, killing more than 1000 people and leaving a hole 25 meters (70 ft) deep and 60 meters (200 ft) in diameter.[19][20]
Texas City Disaster 
On 16 April 1947, the SS Grandcamp, loaded with 8,500 short tons (7,700 t) of ammonium nitrate, exploded in port at Texas City, Texas. 581 died, over 5,000 injured. Using standard chemical data for decomposition of ammonium nitrate gives 2.7 kilotons of energy released.[21] The US Army rates the relative effectiveness of ammonium nitrate, compared to TNT, as 0.42.[22] This conversion factor makes the blast the equivalent of 1.134 kilotons of TNT. This is generally considered the worst industrial accident in United States history.
On 18 April 1947 British engineers attempted to destroy the entire North Sea island of Heligoland in what became known as the "British Bang".[citation needed] Roughly 4000 tons[23][24] of surplus World War II ammunition were placed in various locations around the island and set off. The island survived, although the extensive fortifications were destroyed. According to Willmore,[24] the energy released was 1.3×1020 erg (1.3×1013 J), or about 3.2 kilotons of TNT equivalent. The blast is listed in the Guinness Book of World Records under largest single explosive detonation, although Minor Scale would appear to be larger.


"Evangelos Florakis" Navy Base explosion 
At around 5:45 am local time of 11 July 2011, a fire at a munitions dump at Evangelos Florakis Naval Base near Zygi, Cyprus, caused the massive explosion of 98 cargo containers of various types of munition,causing the equivalent of 2 Kilotons of TNT equivalent energy to be released[citation needed], destroying the naval base along with Cyprus biggest power plant, "Vassilikos" power plant 500m away, and causing the death of 13 and injuries to over 60. Injuries were reported up to 5 km and damaged houses were reported as far as 10 km from the ground zero.[25][26] Seismometers at the Mediterranean region recorded the exposion as a M3.0 seismic event.[27]
2009 Cataño oil refinery fire 
On the morning of 23 October 2009 there was a major explosion at the gasoline tanks that was seen and heard from 50 miles (80 km) away and left a smoke plume with tops as high as 30,000 feet (9 km), caused a 3.0 earthquake and blew glass around the city. Extinguished on October 25.
Sea Launch failure 
On 30 January 2007, a Sea Launch Zenit-3SL rocket exploded on takeoff. The explosion consumed the roughly 400,000 kg (400 t) of kerosene and liquid oxygen on board. This rocket was launched from an uncrewed ship in the middle of the Pacific ocean, so there were no casualties; the launch platform was damaged and the NSS-8 satellite was destroyed.
2005 Hertfordshire Oil Storage Terminal fire 
On 11 December 2005 there were a series of major explosions at the 60,000,000 imp gal (270,000,000 L) capacity Buncefield oil depot near Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire, England. The explosions were heard over 100 mi (160 km) away, as far as the Netherlands and France, and the resulting flames were visible for many miles around the depot. A smoke cloud covered Hemel Hempstead and other nearby towns in west Hertfordshire and Buckinghamshire. There were no fatalities, but there were around 43 injuries (2 serious).
Seest fireworks disaster 
On 3 November 2004 about 800 tonnes of fireworks exploded in the Danish town of Kolding. One firefighter was killed, but the mass evacuation of 2,000 people saved many lives. The cost of the damage has been estimated at 100 million.
Ryongchon disaster 
A train explosion in North Korea on 22 April 2004; according to official figures, 54 people were killed and 1,249 were injured.
2001 AZF chemical factory explosion in Toulouse, France 
On 21 September 2001 the disaster caused 29 deaths, 2,500 seriously wounded, and 8,000 light casualties. The blast registered 3.4 on the Richter scale and damaged about 30,000 buildings.[28]

Comparison with large conventional military ordnance

The most powerful non-nuclear weapons ever designed are the United States' MOAB (standing for Massive Ordnance Air Blast, also nicknamed Mother Of All Bombs, tested in 2003) and the Russian Father of All Bombs (tested in 2007). The MOAB contains 18,700 lb (8.5 t) of the H6 explosive, which is 1.35 times as powerful as TNT, giving the bomb an approximate yield of 0.011 kt. The FOAB is about 4 times more powerful than the MOAB. It would require about 250 MOAB blasts to equal the Halifax Explosion.

Conventional explosions for nuclear testing

A number of large conventional explosions have been conducted for nuclear testing purposes. Some of the larger ones are listed below.[29]

Event Explosive used Amount of explosive Where Date
Trinity test TNT 108 tons White Sands Proving Grounds 7 May 1945
Snowball TNT 500 short tons (450 t) Alberta, Canada 1964
Operation Sailor Hat TNT 3 tests × 500 short tons (450 t) Kahoolawe, HI 1965
Distant Plain propane 20 short tons (18 t) Alberta, Canada 1966-67
Prairie Flat TNT 500 short tons (450 t) Alberta, Canada 1968
Dial Pack TNT 500 short tons (450 t) Alberta, Canada 23 July 1970
Mixed Company TNT 500 short tons (450 t) Colorado 20 November 1972
Misers Bluff ANFO 7 tests × 120 short tons (110 t) Planet Ranch, AZ 1978
Dice Throw ANFO 620 short tons (560 t) White Sands Missile Range 6 October 1979
Distant Runner ANFO 2 tests × 120 short tons (110 t) White Sands Missile Range 1981
Mill Race ANFO 620 short tons (560 t) White Sands Missile Range 16 September 1981
Direct Course ANFO 609 short tons (552 t) White Sands Missile Range 26 October 1983
Minor Scale ANFO 4,744 short tons (4,304 t) White Sands Missile Range 27 June 1985
Misty Picture ANFO 4,685 short tons (4,250 t) White Sands Missile Range 14 May 1987
Misers Gold ANFO 2,445 short tons (2,218 t) White Sands Missile Range 1 June 1989
Distant Image ANFO 2,440 short tons (2,210 t) White Sands Missile Range 20 June 1991
Minor Uncle ANFO 2,725 short tons (2,472 t) White Sands Missile Range 10 June 1993
Non Proliferation Experiment ANFO 1,410 short tons (1,280 t) Nevada Test Site 22 September 1993

Other smaller tests include Pre Mine Throw and Mine Throw in 1970-1974, Pre Dice Throw and Pre Dice Throw II in 1975, Pre-Direct Course in 1982, SHIST in 1994, and the series Dipole Might in the 1990s and 2000s. Divine Strake was a planned test of 700 tons at the Nevada Test Site in 2006, but was cancelled.

Rank order of largest conventional explosions/detonations by magnitude

These yields are approximated by the amount of the explosive material and its properties. They are rough estimates and are not authoritative.

Event Approximate yield
N1 launch explosion 6-7 kt of TNT (29 TJ)
Minor Scale and Misty Picture 4 kt of TNT (17 TJ)
Heligoland 3.2 kt of TNT (13 TJ)
Siberian pipeline sabotage 3.0 kt of TNT (12 TJ)
Halifax Explosion 2.9 kt of TNT (12 TJ)
Texas City Disaster 2.7-3.2 kt of TNT (11–13 TJ)
Evangelos Florakis Naval Base explosion 2-3.2 kt of TNT (9–13 TJ)
Port Chicago disaster 1.6-2.2 kt of TNT (7–9 TJ)

See also


  1. ^ David Simpson and Alan Ruffman, "Explosions, Bombs and Bumps: Scientific Aspects of the Explosion" and Jay White, "Exploding Myths: The Halifax Explosion in Historical Context", in Ground Zero: A Reassessment of the 1917 explosion in Halifax Alan Ruffman and Colin D. Howell editors, Nimbus Publishing (1994), p. 266, 292
  2. ^ a b c "Mill Rock Island - Historical Sign". Retrieved 2009-04-12. 
  3. ^ a b Whitt, Toni (2006-06-02). "The East River is Cleaner Now. The Water Birds Say So. - New York Times". The New York Times. Retrieved 2009-04-12. 
  4. ^ rom The History of India by John Clark Marshman, Volume III, page 340
  5. ^ The Star-Ledger (Newark, New Jersey). Bridget Malone and Sue Epstein. For 3 days, the ground shook in South Amboy. October 4, 1998 Sunday.
  6. ^ David Simpson and Alan Ruffman, "Explosions, Bombs and Bumps: Scientific Aspects of the Explosion", Ground Zero: A Reassessment of the 1917 explosion in Halifax Alan Ruffman and Colin D. Howell editors, Nimbus Publishing, 1994 p. 288
  7. ^ William R. Kennedy,Jr. (March 1986). "Technical Report LA-10605-MS: Fallout Forecasting—1945 Through 1962" (PDF). Los Alamos National Laboratory. , page 3.
  8. ^ "Port Chicago Naval Magazine Explosion on 17 July 1944: Court of Inquiry: Finding of Facts, Opinion and Recommendations, continued...". US Navy.  1780 tons of HE on ship plus 199 tons of black powder; docks had 146 tons of HE plus 11 tons powder.
  9. ^ Allen, Robert L. (1993). The Port Chicago Mutiny. Amistad. ISBN 1567430104. 
  10. ^ Rohwer, J. and Hummelchen, G. (1992). Chronology of the War at Sea 1939-1945. Naval Institute Press. ISBN 1-55750-105-X. 
  11. ^ Blair, Clay (1996). Hitler's U-boat War: The Hunters, 1939-1942. Random House. ISBN 0 394 58839 8. 
  12. ^ "Russia remembers 1989 Ufa train disaster". RIA Novosti. 2009-06-04. Retrieved 2009-06-13. 
  13. ^ "Nuclear Effects Testing". 
  14. ^ TECH REPS INC ALBUQUERQUE NM (1986) (PDF). Minor Scale Event, Test Execution Report. 
  15. ^ The Military Engineer, Society of American Military Engineers, v. 59-60: 1967
  16. ^ Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences New York Academy of Sciences: HighWire Press: 1968 v. 152, pp. 1-913
  17. ^ "N1 Moon Rocket". 
  18. ^ a b c d Kurak, Steve "Operation Chase" United States Naval Institute Proceedings September 1967, pp. 40-46
  19. ^ El Tiempo 1956 Explosion En Cali|url=
  20. ^ Misterious explosion in Colombia|url=
  21. ^ First NH4NO3 => N2O + 2H2O + 36 kJ/mole, followed by N2O => N2 + ½O2 + 82 kJ/mole of N2O. This gives a total of 118 kJ for 80 grams of NH4NO3, or 1475 kJ/kg. Since a kiloton is defined as 4184 kJ/kg, each kiloton of NH4NO3 gives 0.35 kilotons of explosive power. So 7,700 tonnes is about 2.7 kilotons explosive.
  22. ^ US Army Field Manual 5-250: Explosives and Demolition, page 1-2.
  23. ^ WILLMORE, PL (1947). "Seismic Aspects of the Heligoland Explosion". Nature 160 (4063): 350. doi:10.1038/160350a0. 
  24. ^ a b Willmore, PL (1949). "Seismic Experiments on the North German Explosions, 1946 to 1947". Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series A, Mathematical and Physical Sciences (1934-1990) (JSTOR) 242 (843): 123–151. doi:10.1098/rsta.1949.0007. ISSN 0080-4614. 
  25. ^
  26. ^
  27. ^
  28. ^ Barbier, Pascal (2003). Urban Growth Analysis Within a High Technological Risk Area: Case of AZF Factory Explosion in Tolouse (France). Ecole Nationale des Sciences Géographiques. 
  29. ^ "Nuclear effects testing". 

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