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By : Oneindia Video Team
Published : August 06, 2020, 09:00
Duration : 02:16

Beirut Explosion: What makes Ammonium Nitrate explode, how dangerous is it

A massive explosion and a serious shock wave shook the Lebanese capital city of Beirut, killing at least 100 people and wounding more than 4,000 others, according to the Lebanese Red Cross. Lebanese Prime Minister Hassan Diab said the blast was caused by the ignition of more than 2,750 metric tons of ammonium nitrate stored, insecurely, at a warehouse. 300,000 people have been left homeless after an enormous explosion tore across the city. Lets take a closer look at how dangerous is Ammonium Nitrate. With the chemical formula NH4NO3, ammonium nitrate is a naturally occurring, highly soluble white crystalline solid, more commonly known as saltpetre. The largest deposits are found in the Atacama Desert in Chile, from where it was mined. Ammonium nitrate is predominantly used in agriculture as a high-nitrogen fertiliser. It's relatively stable under most conditions and is inexpensive to manufacture, making the chemical a popular alternative to other more expensive nitrogen sources.
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