Large explosion reported at Webster Parish, Louisiana

Reports of some type of unique atmospheric phenomenon began coming into the NWS Shreveport office just before midnight, Monday, October 15, 2012. At the time it was unclear what exactly occurred. All that was known was that some type of explosion must have happened near Minden Louisiana. Residents of Webster Parish were knocked out of their beds before midnight, numerous windows were shattered and damage to some buildings occurred across the area. Residents as far west as the Texas border were awoken by the event to what felt like an earthquake.

At 11:28 pm CDT, KSHV Doppler radar imagery showed some type of debris/smoke plume approximately one and one half miles southwest of Dixie Inn, Louisiana which is where the Camp Minden Louisiana army ammunition plant is located. This debris plume drifted northwest at approximately 10 mph and dissipated after only 30 minutes.

Suspicions of a possible explosion at Camp Minden were confirmed shortly after 8 am CDT on October 16, when the Webster Parish Sheriff`s Office released a statement describing an explosion that occurred at an ammunition storage facility on site. No injuries were reported at the site and firefighters were only tending to a few hot spots near the site of the explosion.

The initial event occurred at Latitude/Longitude 35.578 N, -93.351 W which is in the borders of the Camp Minden Army ammunition plant.  A large flash was observed, citizens were shaken out of bed and windows were shattered during the late night hours October 15th.

The Shreveport, La National Weather Service Doppler Radar captured some images of the plume caused by the explosion. The first image captured by the radar occurred at 11:28 pm cdt, with subsequent images captured at 11:37, 11:47, 11:56 and ending at 12:06 am cdt. Based on radar analysis, the plume was initially as high as almost 7200 feet above ground level. The sampled radar imagery is very similar to what is usually seen with smoke plumes associated with wildfires,  it was more vertical and concentrated as it traversed the area from southeast to northwest at approximately 10 mph. It slowly dissipated after approximately 34 minutes.

The above graphic shows the plume caused by the explosion as sampled by Shreveport, La National Weather Service Doppler Radar.

3-D radar of mystery object that hit Louisiana

Shortly after explosion and on the following day reports of all sorts started coming in. Some said it was an object that hit the ground, a meteorite or something. Weatherpost had interesting analysis and a 3-D radar of mystery object that hit Louisiana. The article reads:

The NWS in Shreveport published a story and some radar images this morning about a mystery object, saying “There is a lot of speculation about what might have occurred, but regardless of what occurred, a large flash was observed, citizens were shaken out of bed and windows were shattered during the late night hours October 15th.” I pulled some 3D radar images from GRLevelX software this morning:

Read the rest of the article here

Louisiana parish map

The location of explosion is far away from Assumpton Parish sinkhole. To give an idea of the area here is the Louisiana parish map:

The explosion and what caused it is still under investigation.

Sources: srh.noaa.govpublic information statement regarding the events surrounding the explosion

Featured image: Google Earth

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Large explosion reported at Webster Parish, Louisiana

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