BLEVE: Facts, Risk Factors, and Fallacies

Issue 4 and Volume 155.

BY David F. Peterson Crescent City. Kingman. Waverly. Memphis. Do these cities mean anything to you? They should! They are locations of disasters involving liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) that killed 37 people combined–including 17 firefighters–and injured more than 200 people. How about Warwick, Quebec, Canada, and Burnside, Illinois? These cities also witnessed tragedies over the past eight years involving LPG tanks that failed because of flame impingement, killing six firefighters and injuring five. Click here to enlarge image Imagine you are settling into bed on a cold evening in early spring and you get called to a propane tank fire a couple of miles out of town. The dispatcher tells you the fire started close to five minutes earlier when an all-terrain vehicle hit some propane supply lines coming from a large tank. Somehow the propane ignited, prompting calls to the fire department. You arrive on-scene nearly nine minutes after…

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