The last thing I expected to see from the summit of The Cloud G/SP-015 this morning was a 70m high fireball just after I heard a loud explosion. Looking down from the summit into the valley I could see the Bosley Wood Treatment works in flames with thick black smoke coming from it for the next two hours.
Major news story here today:
I was interviewed on the local radio:
(from about 48 minutes in)
The activation was a morning stroll to try and add to the 6m/10m Challenge account. The propagation was clearly working between G and EA5. My first two QSOs on 6m SSB were into EA5, and when I tried CW, it was the EA5 skimmer that triggered my KU6J RBNgate spot.
The final tallies were:
10m CW: 1
6m CW: 1
6m SSB: 5
2m FM: 5
The last QSO was with EA4MY on 6m CW, and that’s when I heard the almighty bang and then witnessed the huge fireball in the valley below. Shocking scenes.
The blast was at 9.07am - the same time as my QSO with EA4MY. It is now nine hours later, still burning, and still four people unaccounted for. Dreadful.
That’s bad news Tom, hope the four turn up safe and sound.
The reports described the factory as making Wood Flour. (Google for a full description of wood flour). Anyway it turns out the eco-friendly cat-litter I’ve been buying for a while now was manufactured at the plant. These things always seem less remote when you actually have a physical link to the place. Very nasty for all concerned.
Karl, as three men and a woman are still missing, to the best of my knowledge, and there is little hope of a favourable outcome after this long a time, I think your comments were in poor taste.
I did another activation of this summit during the early afternoon of Saturday 18th July 2015. Sadly, plenty of smoke continued to rise up from the factory site despite it being constantly drenched with water jets and it being 30 hours after the explosion. Even more sadly, search teams have been in but the four unaccounted for persons have not been found. I should imagine that identification will be very difficult, given what I witnessed the day before.
The activation was as pleasant as it could be given this tragic scene and sombre mood of everyone on the summit. The weather was fantastic and it was nice to see several families stopping on summit for a picnic. My radio results were as follows:
10m SSB: 10
10m CW: 4
6m SSB: 7
6m CW: 2
2m FM: 14
DXCCs: 9 - CT, EA, G, GW, LZ, OD, OE, OH, ZB
S2S: 3 - Simon GW4TJC/P 0n Moelwyn Mawr GW/NW-016, Jordan MW3TMX/P on Mynydd y Cwm GW/NW-076, Antonio EC2AG/P on Montemayor EA2/VI-049.
HIghlights: OD Lebanon on 10m SSB, ZB Gibraltar on 6m CW, Working Jordan M3TMX for the first time in at least a couple of years.
Going to agree with you on that one in this case of this situation
Do hope they find the four some where safe at least alive.
Thank you, Karl, you are a gent!
Gent, when, where, how ?
No, you were right in this case. so withdrawn.
Tend to forget myself some days.
Still lots of smoke coming from the site this morning, still a grim scene from the summit of nearby Bosley Cloud. Police have now named the four missing people, the search is continuing.
Interesting 6m conditions this morning, with decent propagation to the Mediterranean area, and a contest in progress. 12 contacts were made in a brief activation:
10m SSB: 1 (EA)
10m CW: 3 (all EA)
6m SSB: 6 (2 x EA, EA6, G, IS0, IT9)
6m CW: 2 (CN, EA)
Morocco on 6m undoubtedly the highlight.
It shows how local six can be, the uksmg spots map showed lots going on but nothing could be heard here!