February, 2004

200401FebAll DayFlammable gas in enclosed space = BOOM!Process Safety Beacon | Flammable materials in unventilated areas is an explosion waiting to happenLessons:Asset integrityLanguage:EN Origin: CCPS Document Type:BulletinTopics:Flammable Atmospheres


Here’s What Happened:

A pickup truck with a small cylinder of acetylene stored in the cab was parked for the weekend. Unfortunately, the cylinder had a VERY small leak. Because all the windows were closed, a flammable atmosphere was developed inside the truck’s cab. When the owner returned on Monday and opened the door—BOOM. You can see the results.

How Did This Happen?

• Acetylene is one of those gases that has a very wide flammability range. In fact, acetylene is flammable in concentrations from 2.5% to 82% in air.
• It took only a very small leak to eventually fill the cab of this truck with the 1/4 pound of acetylene needed to reach a flammable mixture.
• When the door was opened, the flammable mixture “found” an ignition source.
• In this case, the driver was seriously injured, but luckily, was not killed.

© AIChE | Sponsored by CCPS Supporters


CCPSCenter for Chemical Process Safety