Blowing Up the World’s Largest Fireworks Tank

So, back in college I did a course in Technical theater, which entails all that stuff done in the backstage including design, lighting, etc. I obtained a ticket in Pyrotechnics. If you don’t know what the word means,


Pyrotechnics can be defined as the science and craft of using self-contained and self-sustained exothermic chemical reactions to produce heat, light, gas, smoke and/or sound.

We had made our own flash pots, produced different colored smoke and flash effects.

One time we were in class and our Pyrotechnics instructor and a few of my course mates did a little summer time flash show on the instructor’s farm. It was meant to last for just about one minute and we would also control it remotely with a really simple system in place.

To be very honest I still don’t understand why they spent so much time messing around to light all the different parts of the tank. Otherwise, it would have been way easier to make all the different parts of that tank go off in a well controlled fashion without that stupid, giant lighter.

It was such a Meh. Amateur hour.

Back then, in the 1980’s we used to throw parties down at the local river bank bar with some guys who were into the demolition line of work and they worked for a logging company. One summer while we were partying, they came around with some 26 sticks of dynamite. That made a huge blast.

The next summer the same guys came with about 180 pounds of ammonium nitrate fertilizer. They soaked the ammonium nitrate in gasoline, then wrapped it in Det cord, they then put it in three holes in the ground about 5 feet apart.

So let me paint a picture for you. This while thing was taking place on an island in the river which you could probably reach easily by fording at a very low tide. There were at least fifteen rigs out there with a population of about 75 people. They set up this whole mess a long way from the people, but it was at most 100 feet away from where the cars were (still a dangerous stunt to pull). The weather was hot and everybody left their windows open on their cars…. except for one guy (unlucky lad) who for whatever reason had left his window rolled up and doors tightly locked.

In conclusion, the explosion completely destroyed the windows in that truck.


Updated: August 8, 2019 — 5:52 pm