The East Ohio Gas Explosion: Cleveland, 1944

A mixed industrial and residential neighborhood in Cleveland, Ohio, became an industrial disaster site on an ordinary Friday afternoon in October 1944. Read the initial November 1944 Fire Engineering report  HERE and follow-up articles on the Cleveland (OH) Fire Department’s response and on the then-new natural gas storage technology that was involved HERE.

Fire Engineering contributor Eric G. Bachman, the hazardous materials administrator for the County of Lancaster (PA) Emergency Management Agency, offers the following comments and a question: 

After reading the article, it certainly reinforces the need for comprehensive pre-incident preparedness. This includes learning the processes employed by the facility and understanding the physical and chemical properties of materials used. It requires contemplation of exposures including the conduits that can facilitate spread and worsen the incident. The incident supports pre-incident development of an extensive resource depth chart, building relationships with traditional and non-traditional response entities and the need for mutual aid agreements.  And very importantly is use of the incident command system. Case study review is an opportunity to ask yourself what you would do. So, if faced with a similar situation, what would you do?

Program manager for the South Central Pennsylvania Regional Task Force (SCTF) and Fire Engineering contributor Greg Noll offers the following:

The increase of natural gas and natural gas liquids (NGL) production operations throughout North America is resulting in the rapid growth of natural gas pipelines and LNG storage and distribution facilities. Because of this increase, a number of U.S.facilities originally designed as LNG import terminals and regasification facilities are now being converted to export terminals and liquefaction facilities. In addition, there are peak shaving facilities which store and vaporize LNG to meet short-term peak gas demands during winter months. The 1944 Cleveland, Ohio, tank failure occurred at a peak shaving facility





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