The cavern now holding the 940,000 barrels of liquid butane is 1,500 feet from the sinkhole.
Sinkhole: H-Bomb explosion equivalent in Bayou Corne possible
Officials: High levels of gas in water wells by sinkhole — Potential health risk, fire/explosion — Immediate remediation needed — “Heed evacuation orders”
Sinkhole explosive methane officially life threatening, residents not told
ACTION LEVELS FOR METHANE CONCENTRATIONS
Methane (CH4) is a colorless, odorless, tasteless gas and can be referred to as natural gas, light
carburetted hydrocarbon, firedamp, and marsh gas. High methane concentrations can cause
oxygen-deficient atmospheres, flammable situations, or explosive environments.
When methane enters the atmosphere as a point source, it can be readily ignited if the
concentration exceeds 5 percent. Atmospheric methane can ignite at concentrations between 5
and 15 percent at Standard Temperature and Pressure (STP). Higher levels can quickly dilute to
flammable levels. In either case, if methane is allowed to accumulate in an enclosed area, an
explosive environment may develop. An explosive environment exists when a mixture of gases
can self-propagate a flame throughout the mixture, independent of, and away from, the source of
ignition. An ignition source can be an electrical outlet, pilot light, well pump, or match.
Occasionally, the subterranean migration of methane presents a hazard at the ground surface,
primarily in structures (buildings). Potential sources include: decaying organic matter, swamps,
abandoned/improperly constructed gas wells, natural seeps, leaking pipes, landfills, and
abandoned or active coal mines. Entry into a structure can occur through cracks in the floor,
along buried utilities, or as a dissolved component of water. When allowed to accumulate in a
structure, an explosion may result.
In addition to the danger of homes exploding, other occurrences and/or undesirable effects of
fugitive methane include: Explosion of well houses, Igniting of spigots, Igniting of well heads, Human suffocation, Gas bubbles in streams, Fires at surface cracks, Dead surface vegetation, Cracking or blistering of pavement.
The inflammable and explosive range of methane is variable and “all occurrences of the gas
should be considered dangerous.” With the right balance of oxygen, methane burns with a pale
blue flame. Atmospheric conditions with 5 to 15 percent methane and 12 percent or more
oxygen will result in an explosion. The most powerful explosive air mixture contains 9.5%
methane. Other hydrocarbon gases, including ethane and propane, can occur naturally with methane.
Oil reported at BP’s Macondo Well in Gulf could be coming from “fissures or cracks in sea floor” — NOAA covering up?
Experts had predicted such oil leaks would likely take place after the Deepwater Horizon rig was capped. That’s because the blocked oil continues to seek a path to the surface, and that could create fissures or cracks in the sea floor for the hydrocarbons to escape. This situation is exactly what we’d warned about in 2010 — that the rig diaster, caused by BP’s reckless and foolish actions, would continue to wreak havoc on the Gulf environment for years to come.
Officials: Pressure building in aquifer to “explosive concentrations”? Geologists say top layer may not hold back gas if above 75 psi
A natural disaster could deplete communication capabilities, and that's why more than 150 amateur radio operators are learning what to do in case that ever happens in Kansas City.