Tuesday, 3 June 2014

Asha disaster

25 years ago...

The Asha disaster was a gas explosion on June 4, 1989 at 1:15 (UTC+5) near Asha in the Soviet Union, about 50 kilometers from Ufa. It erupts beneath two trains carrying more than 1,200 people.

It was the most deadly railway accident in Soviet and European history.

After disaster

The explosion occurred when a leaking natural propane and butane liquids pipeline created a highly flammable cloud that was ignited by sparks created by two passenger trains passing each other nearby.

Estimates of the size of the explosion have ranged from 250-300 tons of TNT equivalent up to 10,000 tons of TNT equivalent.

The fireball from the explosion expanded for 1.6 km, flattened trees for 4 km, and destroyed both trains. Over 500 people died; exact numbers are not known because many bodies were never recovered. It was visible for 150 km, and the explosion broke windows in Asha.

575 people died (many children, they were travelling to Adler for holiday vacations) and more than 800 were injured.

Today there is a monument (54°56'54"N   57°5'23"E) with mass grave on the tragedy site.

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