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Occupational Safety and Health Administration OSHA

Accident Report Detail

Accident: 108847.015 - Employee Is Fatally Burned When Tank Explodes

Accident: 108847.015 -- Report ID: 0316400 -- Event Date: 05/25/2018
InspectionOpen DateSICEstablishment Name
1319002.01505/25/2018Hydrocarbon Well Services, Inc.
At approximately 10:00 a.m. or 10:05 a.m. on May 25, 2018, three employees were working at an oil and gas site. Three tanks were being decommissioned. They contained sludge that resulted from a mixture of oil remnant and gas condensate. The tanks were moved from the site to the bottom of a hill. There, a worker from a separate company cut open the tanks with an oxygen acetylene torch so that they could be cleaned. The third tank contained a leak along the bottom seam. Once it was at the bottom of the hill, the three employees, along with a second worker from the separate company, were working to contain the sludge that was escaping. Nearby, the worker with the torch was on the opposite side of the tank. He began to heat the tank with the torch. Flammable material, either liquid or vapor escaping from the leaking seam, ignited. An explosion occurred inside the tank. All three employees sustained thermal burns. Two of the employees sustained relatively minor burns. One employee sustained severe burns. He was flown to the hospital, where died on June 12, 2018.
Keywords: acetylene torch, tank, explosion, flammable liquid, gas, oil tank, leak, flammable vapors, fire, storage tank
Employee # Inspection Age Sex Degree Nature
1 1319002.015 51 M Fatality Burn/Scald(Heat)

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