Tracking toxic cloud, industrial disaster

Tracking toxic cloud, industrial disaster

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Credit: PATRICK DUMAS/EURELIOS/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

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Caption: Tracking toxic cloud. Satellite imagery being used to track a toxic cloud produced by an industrial disaster. The cloud is seen as the coloured area on the printout being held by the operator at lower centre. This cloud was produced following the explosion of the AZF fertiliser factory near Toulouse, France, on 21 September 2001. Up to 300 tonnes of ammonium nitrate exploded, destroying the factory and leaving a crater over 20 metres deep and 200 metres across. These images were produced by weather satellites. The course of the cloud was tracked to allow monitoring of its effects as rain washed pollutants to the ground.

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