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How big was the Beirut blast?

Jason Norwood-Young
Jason Norwood-Young
2020-08-28

Reuters Graphics regularly produces stunning work, but this comparison of blast sizes using rectangles is a stand-out. While massive (the equivalent of 200 to 300 tons of explosives), Beirut turns out to not have been the largest accidental explosion of all time, with a 1921 blast in Germany (1,000 tons) and a 1917 Canadian disaster involving a boat-full of explosives crashing into another (2,900 tons) both significantly bigger. All are eclipsed by Hiroshima in size and loss of life at 15,000 tons.

Jason Norwood-Young
  • Journalist, developer, community builder, newsletter creator and international man of mystery.

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