Hell on Earth

Submitted to Split-second
Uploaded 31 Oct 2007 — 4 favorites
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© Tony Greif
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Photo license: © All rights reserved

Monday, October 29th the Barton Chemicals plant bursts into flames. Multiple explosions were rocking the building all afternoon and 55 gallon drums were turned into missles as the flaming drums flew over 200 feet into the air. The explosions could be seen from as far as West Des Moines and the smoke could be seen for many miles. Five or six fire departments were called in from as far as Grimes and Altoona, also there was the Des Moines, Johnston, Saylor TWP, fire departments to help battle the blaze.

Luckily only two minor injuries were reported, one worker suffered only minor burns and one fireman was injured, unsure of the injuries but they were reported as being minor.

It was also reported that the fire could of been made worse by the storage of over 1000 chemical drums...where they are only allowed to have 200 drums stored on site, so far that info is unconfirmed.

The Polk County Sherriffs, Des Moines PD, and Iowa State Patrol closed all roads in the area for the safety of the public and Interstate 35 was closed from the Johnston exit all the way to Altoona because of the heavy toxic smoke from the burning chemicals.

It was quite a sight to witness, I was on location for around 4 hours and I lost track of all the explosions and fireballs. I had a lot of fun shooting right next to actual news reporters for all of the local television stations...but I was so jealous looking at their photography gear they get to use, lol. But anyway, I hope you enjoy the photos and thanks for looking!

Tony Greif.

8 responses

  • Laurie Search

    Laurie Search gave props (31 Oct 2007):

    Wow, great catch

  • Tony Greif

    Tony Greif said (31 Oct 2007):

    Thank you, I shot over 250 images that day. Not that I want anything to blow up...but I would love to shoot something like this again, it was pretty intense.

  • Michael Adams

    Michael Adams said (31 Oct 2007):

    Wonderful.
    When i saw the story on the news, I was hoping that someone from one of the sites that i visit captured this.
    you did and you did it well!

  • Tony Greif

    Tony Greif said (31 Oct 2007):

    Thank you....be sure to visit my flickr page I have listed here to see more explosion photos, and other photos from the scene.

  • amir ali atighi moghadam

    amir ali atighi moghadam (Deleted) said (4 Nov 2007):

    professional shot

  • Bharat Balasubramanian

    Bharat Balasubramanian said (18 Jan 2008):

    Excellent Capture... You are a true Citizen Photographer

  • dp *

    dp * gave props (2 Sep 2008):

    Wow, agree don't want to see things blow-up, but sure is interesting. dp

  • Scot Zawada

    Scot Zawada (Deleted) said (14 Feb 2010):

    The capture of the fireball shows the intensity of just how powerfull fire can be.

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