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Barrel explosion as the top was being cut off.


Gerald Boggs

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In case you're wondering what happens when you don't take the necessary precautions:  "A Hanover County family is in shock after one man was killed in an explosion.

Hanover Fire and EMS confirmed the victim, was cutting the top off of a 55-gallon barrel when flammable vapors ignited."  Name edited out

Edited by Gerald Boggs
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  • Gerald Boggs changed the title to Barrel explosion as the top was being cut off.

It happens.  :( Was he using a torch, or a cutoff wheel? Edit: I see EMS found "a power tool" at the scene.

 

Torches are the most dangerous way to cut metal drums, tanks, barrels, etc. because if the flame isn't adjusted exactly right the barrel slowly fills with a mix of unburned acetylene (or propane, if you're using that) and oxygen until it reaches that point where it spontaneously goes boom.  The OSHA records are full of accident reports from this.  It's almost always fatal to the operator, and it happens with barrels that have no combustible contents. 

 

Guy was 21, just bought a house, and had a 1-year old daughter.  Be careful out there, folks. 

Edited by Alan Longmire
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17 hours ago, Alan Longmire said:

Guy was 21, just bought a house, and had a 1-year old daughter.  Be careful out there, folks. 

Damn.  Why does this feel so much more tragic now that I'm 50 than it would have when I was 21?  My kids are older than that... 

Makes you think about how many things we all do all the time that could go wrong if we didn't do them properly...

-Brian

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There is a very good reason that we suggest washing out and then filling the drum or gas bottle with water and letting it sit for some time before cutting the top off... You can never be too careful!  What a needless tragedy!

 

Tim Mitchell
Buffalo River Forge
Great Lakes, Australia.

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May God comfort his family.  It's a shame to hear.  A friend of mine in the Navy relayed an experience he had when he an his dad were looking for a car part in a junk yard (that shows you how long ago it was).  Another man was trying to cut open an old acetylene tank with an acetylene torch when they hear a loud explosion.  Dave didn't say that was left of the man because his dad wouldn't let him go look.

 

Doug

HELP...I'm a twenty year old trapped in the body of an old man!!!

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