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Occupational Safety and Health Administration OSHA

Accident Report Detail

Accident: 14397822 - One Killed And Four Injured In Aircraft Refueling Fire

Accident: 14397822 -- Report ID: 0625400 -- Event Date: 07/24/1989
InspectionOpen DateSICEstablishment Name
10226906507/25/19893721San Antonio Air Logistics Center (Aflc)
A fuels crew was in the process of refueling the wing tanks of a B-52 aircraft with JP-4 fuel for a 24 hour standard flight check. The aircraft has a single point receptacle for refueling and was being filled from a fuel truck. Employee #1 was in the cockpit operating the electrical fuel panel. Employee #1 was in communication with Employee #5 by means of a headset. Employees #2 and #3 were working on the seats in the cockpit. They should not have been working on the aircraft during the refueling operation. Employee #4 was the fuel truck driver. The wing tanks were full and the employees started filling the center wing tank. The center wing tank ruptured due to a vent plug not being removed after pressure and vacuum leak tests were performed on the previous Friday. Approx. 2,600 gallons of fuel spilled on the ramp and ignited. Employee #3 was able to get out the bottom hatch of the cockpit, but his legs were burned as he ran from the aircraft. Employee #2 attempted to open the top hatch of the cockpit and the back of his arms were burned. Employee #2 managed to climb out a window and jumped to the ground. Employee #2 fractured both of his ankles when he landed. Several employees from inside the hanger ran out to the aircraft and carried him to safety. Employee #1 was unable to get out of the cockpit and was killed. Employee #4 ran toward the hanger and had chest pains when he got there. Employee #5 ran toward the hanger and had back pains.
Keywords: burn, aircraft, fire, rupture, fuel truck, tank
Employee # Inspection Age Sex Degree Nature Occupation
1 102269065 Hospitalized injury Other Aircraft mechanics, excluding engine
2 102269065 Hospitalized injury Burn/Scald(Heat) Aircraft mechanics, excluding engine
3 102269065 Hospitalized injury Burn/Scald(Heat) Aircraft mechanics, excluding engine
4 102269065 Fatality Burn/Scald(Heat) Aircraft mechanics, excluding engine
5 102269065 Hospitalized injury Other Aircraft mechanics, excluding engine

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