The MINOR SCALE Event was a high-explosive test simulating the air-blast effects of an 8-KT nuclear weapon. MINOR SCALE was a high explosive (HE) test sponsored by the Defense Nuclear Agency. It was detonated at 1220 hours on 27 June 1985 on the White Sands Missile Range, NM. The explosive charge consisted of 4744 tons of ammonium nitrate fuel oil (ANFO) poured in bulk into a 44-foot (13.4-m) radius fiberglass hemisphere. Click on link for factual details of blast.
SS Grandchamp: On 16 April 1947, the French registered ex-liberty ship caught fire and exploded dockside while being loaded with ammonium nitrate at Texas City, Texas. In what came to be called the Texas City Disaster an estimated 581 people, including 28 firefighters, were killed and 5,000 were injured.
In 1947, America’s worst harbor explosion occurred in Texas City, Texas, when the French ship Grandcamp, carrying ammonium nitrate fertilizer, caught fire and blew up, devastating the town. Another ship, the Highflyer, exploded the following day. The explosions and resulting fires killed more than 500 people and left 200 others missing.