Jet-Axe Tool Malfunctions at Training Session

Issue 8 and Volume 135.

Jet-Axe Tool Malfunctions at Training Session A Jet-Axe explosive forcible entry tool malfunctioned during a training exercise and injured five fire fighters last June 8 in Redwood City, Calif. The 12-year-old device was operated according to the manufacturer’s directions, but part of the blast was misdirected out at the fire fighters rather than at the wall where it was placed. The injured fire fighters were from 35 feet (the length of the detonator cord) to 80 feet from the wall. Jet-Axe was the subject of a voluntary recall in 1977 by the manufacturer, Explosive Technology Co. of Fairfield, Calif., which at the same time ceased making the device. Fire departments were allowed to keep the devices under the company’s general disclaimer warranty. A Redwood City Fire Department news release speculated that long-term storage on the fire apparatus could have resulted in damage to the casing on the Jet-Axe. Several California…

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