Ammonium nitrate, a reported source of explosions in Beirut, was used in the Oklahoma City bombing in 1995


Ammonium nitrate, which Lebanese authorities say caused the devastating explosions in Beirut, is an odorless crystalline substance commonly used as a fertilizer and which has caused numerous industrial explosions over the decades. These include one at a Texas fertilizer plant in 2013 that killed 15 people and was judged deliberate, the North Korean railroad explosion that killed 161 people in 2004 and the Oklahoma City bombing in 1995.When combined with fuel oils, ammonium nitrate creates a powerful explosive widely used in the construction industry, but also by insurgent groups such as the Taliban for improvised explosives.

Two tons were used to create the bomb in the Oklahoma City attack in 1995 which destroyed a federal building, killing 168 people.


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