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Did Las Vegas Shooter Target Aviation Fuel Tanks During Shooting?

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Published on: October 7, 2017

According to a recent report, alleged Las Vegas shooter Stephen Paddock not only targeted attendees at a County music concert, but also took shots at jet fuel tanks near the event.

According to the Las Vegas Review-Journal:

Las Vegas Strip mass murderer Stephen Paddock used his Mandalay Bay hotel room to fire bullets at jet fuel tanks Sunday night, a knowledgeable source told the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

The bullets left two holes in one of two circular white tanks. One of the bullets penetrated the tank, but did not cause a fire or explosion near the Route 91 Harvest country music festival, another knowledgeable source said late Wednesday.

The tanks are roughly 1,100 feet from the concert site, where Paddock killed 58 people and wounded almost 500. Several airplane hangars belonging to prominent corporations are also near the tanks.

The holes were repaired within a couple of days and the FBI was aware of the damage and took measurements.

“Airport fueling has not been compromised,” McCarran spokesman Chris Jones said late Wednesday. “It’s functional.”

As you can see from the photo below, the distance between Paddock’s room and the tanks is roughly 2,000 feet.

The tanks sit on property owned by McCarran International Airport and are operated by Swissport, the company that runs the fueling operations for the airport, according to McCarran spokeswoman Christine Crews.

The tanks were primarily used to fuel private aircraft.

Now, if you are wondering why didn’t this jet fuel ignite, it’s because it’s fairly difficult to ignite.

Take a look at this video on how difficult it and other fuels are hard to ignite.

Again, from the Las Vegas Review-Journal:

A source knowledgeable about airport operations said jet fuel is hard to ignite and tanks like those across from Mandalay Bay have mechanisms in place to prevent fires.

Mike Boyd, a Colorado-based aviation consultant, echoed those words.

“A machine gun is not going to blow up a tank of fuel,” Boyd said. “Jet fuel itself sitting there in a big wet pile is very hard to ignite. You have to be a very amateur terrorist to think anything like that.”

Obviously, the tanks were targeted, but my guess is that after a couple of attempts to blow the tanks up Jack Bauer style, the shooter simply turned his weapon back on the crowd.

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