There goes another one...Ammo dump explosions

#21
And as a nation I believe we're just bloody lucky (and good and packaging munitions)

In the two large ammunition depots I've worked at I've seen some shocking 'incidents' that could have caused some catastrophic shit had they gone off. Mostly they involved useless storeman being a bit too haphazard on MHE.

- Milan overpacks being peirced with MHE forks.
- Multiple pallets of Swingfire hitting the deck because the MHE driver inserted his forks too much in a adjacent strack and toppled the lot =|
- Pallets on a train wagon shored up with planks that had been nailed into place at Marchwood, that had ****ing great nails peircing containers of 81mm mortar, Grenades and 155mm HE rds.
- And I won't even mention the EXOG stuff that returned from Op Granby in any container to hand.

The list goes on and on and on . . .
 
#22
A quote from Hectors mile long post! ""On July 11, 2011, 98 shipping containers holding gunpowder at the Evangelos Florakis naval base on Cyprus exploded. The blast killed 13 people and injured 61 others. Additionally, the blast damaged the Vasiliko Power Plant, causing widespread rolling power outages. The containers had been sitting out in the open for more than two years, where they were subject to the hot Mediterranean climate. As this and other all-too-frequent incidents illustrate, the proper maintenance, storage, and safeguarding of conventional weapons and munitions is of vital importance. Failure to conduct proper physical security and stockpile management poses as significant a humanitarian challenge as the well-known threat of landmines and explosive remnants of war left uncleared from past conflicts."
Shipping containers holding gunpowder? I suspect another case of expert journalism on the loose. The question is, what kind of gunpowder, NC or blackpowder? I strongly suspect the former, there is a slight difference between the two. Following WWII Uncle Sam had shed loads of surplus NC powder which was later flogged off to civvies and was still being used decades later. But then it had been stored properly...

.
Lazy editing by me I'm afraid (Or long winded Americans... Discuss...)
The Cyprus 'event' was rather peculiar. Not because of the bloody stupid way the stuff was stored, but what it was.

It was a load of 98 containers of 'stuff' (exact contents never disclosed publicly) on a Cypriot registered, Russian owned tramp ship moving Iranian contraband to Syria that was stopped back in 2009 by the US Navy.
MV Monchegorsk - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Cypriots ended up holding the baby. Which they left out in the sun for two years, next to their main power station. Doh!
 
#23
Lazy editing by me I'm afraid (Or long winded Americans... Discuss...)
The Cyprus 'event' was rather peculiar. Not because of the bloody stupid way the stuff was stored, but what it was.

It was a load of 98 containers of 'stuff' (exact contents never disclosed publicly) on a Cypriot registered, Russian owned tramp ship moving Iranian contraband to Syria that was stopped back in 2009 by the US Navy.
MV Monchegorsk - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Cypriots ended up holding the baby. Which they left out in the sun for two years, next to their main power station. Doh!
No-one actually knows what was in the containers. I appears the government would not let anyone inspect the contents, probably to avoid embarrassing Cyprus's comrade president who used to get on quite well with President Assad.

It is believed that the contents were mostly some sort of powder which the ill-informed thought meant gun-powder. It could just have easily been powdered explosives ready for filling shells. It could also have been propellant, which would also be in a pretty bad state after years of temperature cycling - reports of a liquid oozing from containers probably support this theory.

Whichever - we will probably never know as it high ordered after application of a bit of fire.

Mind-numbing stupidity all round
 
#24
Of the many regulations pertaining to ammunition storage only a few are required to help prevent an incident in the first incident.

Many others are there to limit the effects of an event should one occur.

If nations could just follow the very basic rules to prevent an incident, this would have prevented many of the incidents that have occurred.

Other, more stringent, measures can be introduced when they get the basics right.

I suspect one of the problems is the shear cost of building and maintaining adequate storage facilities.

As well as the International Ammunition Technical Regulations there needs to be International Regulations on Ammunition Safety Features, after al Russian Arty fuzes just don't cut the mustard for adequate safe storage.
 
#25
The MoD must be more particular than some, as there is currently plenty of mid 90's RG stamped 5.56 & 7.62 ammunition available as surplus.
Of course once some of the more volatile compounds used in HE projectiles gets a tad geriatric, it becomes a different ball game entirely.
 
#26
The MoD must be more particular than some, as there is currently plenty of mid 90's RG stamped 5.56 & 7.62 ammunition available as surplus.
SAA is manufactured approximately 1million rounds per batch or workdate. As each batch/work date is used it will eventually fall to a small batch quantity, these become difficult to manage and we prefer to use as fewer batches as possible at any one time.

This may seem like a waste of ammo, but take into account the following scenario:

A unit is live firing 5.56mm ball in the UK. It has been issued 54000 rds from 10 different workdates, but all the year 2005. All the ammunition has been issued and comprises 8100 rds from 9 workdates and 45900 from the 10th.

All the ammo boxes are opened and at least a quantity of rounds taken from each.

A breech explosion occurs on range. On initial investigation the range AT cannot preclude the ammunition from being at fault. As all the ammunition was manufactured in 2005 all will have the base stamp 05. Therefore the AT has no other option than to ban all 10 BKIs.

This has massive implications if one of those BKIs is currently issued on ops.

Therefore it makes more sense to bin it. At 14p a round it's not worth the hassle.
 

seaweed

LE
Book Reviewer
#29
OOh, sales opportunity, they will get loads of foreign aid that can be spent on re-stocking.
 
#30
There were a couple of crackers in Kuwait in 1991-2. One cooked off for two weeks.

There may be an element of truth to the rumour that an ex Matelot clearance diver banged his pipe out on an open box leading to the beginning of a two week chain reaction, he may also have had more than a passing resemblance to Only Fools and Horses Uncle Albert.
 
#32
And as a nation I believe we're just bloody lucky (and good and packaging munitions)
Possibly, and I am not an expert in these matters, but I have considerable experience in tinkering with SAA. Miraculously, I still have all my digits. I personally feel that the average ambient temperatures in this country may have a bit more to do with it. I was given the remnants of a box of .45 ACP "tommy-gun ammo" (as it was referred to technically) to dispose of in the eighties, by firing it off on the range from my personal Colt automatic. The stuff had 1944 stamped on the base, and was in perfect condition. No stoppages or misfires.

I suspect that the cool, dry conditions in the average Brit military ammo bunker is very conducive to stable preservation. Kinshasa or Cyprus may have different temperature ranges.

Pyrotechnics are unfortunately not as good. I have to test-fire my miniflares, one every November 5th, after their storage date expires. I always have some miniflares in the car boot (which probably gets a bit tepid in summer) and they get an occasional failure to fire after about three years older than the expiry dates on the packaging.

If one of a batch fails to fire, then my little nephews and nieces then have the fun of firing off the rest, while I have the dubious pleasure of paying for the replacements. There were tears in my eyes last Nov 5th when I fired off an out-of-date illum civvy Schermuly over the neighbourhood. Damn things are incredibly expensive; I always put it down to the words "Emergency Use Only" stamped on the side. Seems to add a very large sum to the purchase price, for some reason...

As we live close to the coast, I only fire the things off on bonfire night, or the local Coastguard becomes truculent.
 
#33
We fire all the out of date pyro on New year, always inform the Coastguard of location, time start/finish and colours of flares. Never been an issue as long as they know.
 
#34
I used to periodically collect explosives for my mine in Tanzania from the storage facility in Dar-es-Salaam mentioned above (see Feb 16 2011, Gongola Mboto), and very time I visited, about ten years prior to this event, there was increasing encroachment into the old and generally decrepit complex by shanty housing. All very social and relaxed; the last time I was there I remember kids playing on top of the bunkers, groups of people standing around while we loaded up the Gelamex, cordtex and dets etc. When it went up I was working for one of the risk mitigation organisations in London, and received a number of calls from tourists asking nervously whether there was a coup taking place...
 
#35
Heard of cretins with a forklift driving forks through an MLRS container after granby ans everyone heading for the horizon as fast as they could though not as fast as if the mlrs had gone bang:)
Possibly not letting an infantry bloke who said he used to be a fork lift driver for tescos unload explosives without some training? Might have avoided that little drama:(.

HM forces are the most professional military in the world, think about the consequences of that:(
And be very very scared :(
 
#36
We fire all the out of date pyro on New year, always inform the Coastguard of location, time start/finish and colours of flares. Never been an issue as long as they know.
Thanks, good advice. I'll try New Year next time.

Ruddy Schermuly. The "Woosh" was so loud, everyone stopped scoffing burgers to ask what the f... it was. Until it went "pop"
at the top of the arc.

Now I've got to find a suitable place and time to try out my 1W lasers... Box says the range is "to the horizon in any direction". And no, it wasn't me near the Glasgow pub last night.
 
#37
There's a reason that pyro has a self life and you're advertising the use of a banned laser..............very smart!
 
#38
There's a reason that pyro has a self life and you're advertising the use of a banned laser..............very smart!
Lasers of that power are used for long-distance surveying, amongst other things, They are not banned. They just have to be used with care, and turned off immediately if you hear an aircraft.

I would stick to commenting on pyrotechnics, if I were you.
 

DieHard

LE
Book Reviewer
#39
I had a mate who worked at pinewood studios and one day he said he had a surprise for us, he had got hold of quite a few pyros from the studios and some very funny looking maroons
He said he would send up the maroons on nov5 at our mates place.
We all went, had the usual piss up and watched some dubious pyrotechnics with fireworks. At the end of the eve he said watch this and launched 4 maroons via a homemade launcher right up over the busy uxbridge road in Hayes, I had never heard a maroon before and the resulting explosion of them overhead had me diving under the beer table. Every car alarm in a quarter mile went off and the explosions heard all over Hayes, within minutes there were police cars a fire engine and an ambulance racing up and down the busy road looking for an explosion, we bugged out and as we were leaving a police car was pulling up outside to question my mate.
Apparently they were heard in uxbridge and southall and they thought it was an Ira bomb.
Not very happy cops and a few shit filled pants too I reckon,, I never knew that maroons were designed to be heard over a town to call out the rnli so 4 all at once was fcking loud


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#40
Lasers of that power are used for long-distance surveying, amongst other things, They are not banned. They just have to be used with care, and turned off immediately if you hear an aircraft.

I would stick to commenting on pyrotechnics, if I were you.
Yep, I was playing with 2 three colour show lasers bigger than that, outdoor in fog recently. It was a bit childish but we had a laugh.
 

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