According to the Las Vegas Review-Journal, the Route 91 Harvest music festival crowd wasn’t Stephen Paddock’s only target. He also fired at two jet fuel tanks about 650 yards from the Mandalay Bay hotel, striking them twice.
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.
What Paddock didn’t know is that fuel — anything from a car’s gas tank to those holding thousands of gallons of jet fuel — isn’t easily ignited.
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.”
The tanks have since been inspected and repaired.