On April 17, a massive explosion at a fertilizer factory in West, Texas occurred. According to The Guardian “the blast registered as a 2.1 magnitude seismic event and was heard at least 45 miles away.” The blast is assumed to have caused the death of several people and injured over 100. Many houses collapsed or were set on fire. Hundreds had to leave their homes and were evacuated to a nearby school.
Again according to The Guardian mayor Tommy Muska from West, Texas, told reporters: "It was a[s] like a nuclear bomb went off. Big old mushroom cloud. There are a lot of people that got hurt. There are a lot of people that will not be here tomorrow."
As a result increasing concerns are already being raised all over the world questioning the use of fertilizers and the existence and safety of fertilizer factories. A person living close by the plant expresses the thoughts of many: "They always claimed it was safe! That nothing like that could ever happen. Now look at the result!"
Some people even go so far as to compare the incident with the Bhopal disaster in 1984. US officials however told AP: "You can’t compare this case to Bhopal. You simply can’t. It is a very different case. It is as if you were comparing the Fukushima accident with Chernobyl. It is different technology and has very different causes! Bhopal wasn’t even producing fertilizers."
Meanwhile, the German government has again shown that it is capable of quick action and has ordered an immediate production stop for several dozen chemical factories. Also first demonstrations in Germany attracted a large number of people. Members of a well-known so-called environmental organization also entered the site of a chemical factory in Frankfurt. "We want to show how easy it is to get in here. It’s not a real challenge. Just imagine what a terrorist could do. And we are pretty much inside a large city in the middle of Germany! We want these factories closed as soon as possible." a participant says.
Chancellor Merkel seems to partly agree with these claims and has ordered a stress test of all chemical factories in Germany. "My vision is to use only natural and renewable as fertilizers."
Claims have, however been raised that the German devision comes too late and will prove to be of little effect. Activist have therefore formed a new organization called Have-a-Green-Piss. The goal is to get more people out into nature when doing their business.
[see also svd.se for more information]
Footnote: This is about risk perception. This is NOT to make fun about the accident in Texas and NOT to make fun about the Bhopal disaster.