May, 1988

This is a repeating event

198804MayAll DayHenderson Explosion 1988PEPCON Henderson (US-NV) Origin: Marsh Industry:ChemicalsCountry:United StatesLanguage:ENLoC:Confined explosion


An explosion at a plant that manufactured ammonium perchlorate (AP) for rocket fuel flattened the local industrial park, left a crater 125 meters across, and cracked walls 15 miles away. Two people were killed. The cause was thought to be a fire in a batch dryer. The initial explosion was at 11:53 and was equivalent to 108 tons of TNT, with a second explosion four minutes later equivalent to 235 t of TNT. Approximately 50% of the buildings in the nearby town of Henderson, Nevada were destroyed, at cost of US$70 million. A natural gas pipeline that ran under the plant was ruptured in the event and burned for one week.

[ Property Damage $300 Million. Estimated Current Value $693 Million ]

Image credit: Las Vegas Review-Journal