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Occupational Safety and Health Administration OSHA

Accident Report Detail

Accident: 14232136 - Employee Killed When Flash Fire Erupts

Accident: 14232136 -- Report ID: 0316400 -- Event Date: 02/10/1989
InspectionOpen DateSICEstablishment Name
1756731404/20/19891382Pennzoil Products Company
On February 10, 1989, Employee #1 was working alone in a remote area checking gas well meters stations and blowing off drip gas from lines when necessary. Temperatures were below freezing and Employee #1 found that the valve to blow the drip gas had frozen. The valve was at ground level so he took some old rags and laid them across the valve and set them on fire thawing the frozen valve. Employee #1 threw the still smoldering rags over a barbed wire fence, which was upwind of the valve where drip gas is blown off. When he started blowing the drip off, the gas vapors drifted upwind and the still smoldering rags ignited the vapors and engulfed Employee #1 in flames. He rolled on the ground and extinguished the flames, but received severe second- and third-degree burns. He summoned help from a farmhouse approximately a half-mile away. Employee #1 was flown by Life Flight helicopter to the Pittsburgh, PA burn center, where he died on April 12, 1989.
Keywords: burn, gas well, flammable vapors, fire, natural gas
Employee # Inspection Age Sex Degree Nature Occupation
1 17567314 Fatality Burn/Scald(Heat) Helpers, extractive occupations

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