PEPCON Explosions 35 YEARS LATERPosted: 04/05/2023 Filed under: Las Vegas, News | Tags: 1986 Space Shuttle Challenger Disaster, 4 May 1988, Ammonium perchlorate, Blog, Blogging, Pacific Engineering and Production Company of Nevada (PEPCON) chemical plant, PEPCON Explosion, Vegas Valley, Writer, Writing Leave a comment
On 4 May 1988 shock waves from the series of powerful PEPCON explosions buffeted a Boeing 737 on final approach to McCarran International Airport seven miles away and cracked and shattered windows and blew doors off their hinges in a radius up to ten miles in diameter. It was one of the most powerful series of explosions in Nevada and in US history, completely leveling the Pacific Engineering and Production Company of Nevada (PEPCON) chemical plant in Henderson, Nevada. The site is where the Valley Auto Mall is today. A significant portion of the Vegas Valley was affected by the powerful blasts. PEPCON disaster
Video from 5 years ago by Las Vegas News 3. Firetrucks were tossed around like Tonka toys from shock waves. Thousands of homes and businesses damaged or destroyed. Everyone in the Vegas Valley heard and felt the explosions that came like earthquakes. Fear from the mushroom clouds toxic chemicals overwhelmed local residents.
Live Footage Recorded as the PEPCON Plant Vaporized
A Short Documentary about the PEPCON Explosions
The PEPCON Explosions Fox5Vegas News “It was the most powerful civilian explosion in the history of the United States, caused by the storage of ammonium perchlorate – used in the space program as an oxidizer for rocket fuel.” –Fox5Vegas News
The company, Pacific Engineering and Production Company of Nevada (PEPCON), changed their name to Western Electrochemical Co. OR WECCO and moved production operations from Henderson, Nevada to Cedar City, Utah where in 1997 another blast involving Ammonium Perchlorate killed again.
Cedar City Blast of 1997 Similar to the PEPCON Blast. Same company, owned by American Pacific Corp in Las Vegas, just changed their name. Or more clearly two separate companies with same or similar production operations owned by the same parent company.
1997 Utah Explosion Stirs Memories of 1988 Nevada Blast
“Kerr-McGee, the only other company making the critical oxidizer, later moved their production facilities from a site a mile from the Pepcon blast to a rural area northeast of Las Vegas.” –Deseret News
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When will society learn to stop storing Ammonium Nitrate and Ammonium Perchlorate near populated areas?
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1986 SPACE SHUTTLE CHALLENGER DISASTER
The 28 January 1986 Space Shuttle Challenger Disaster Predates the PEPCON explosion and many believe the space shuttle disaster contributed to the PEPCON explosion because with the space shuttle program shutdown while the Challenger disaster was investigated the ammonium perchlorate PEPCON manufactured was stockpiled in mass quantities making the fuel for the fire and explosions far more dangerous.
Judith Resnik One of Seven Astronauts to Die on the Space Shuttle Challenger