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Occupational Safety and Health Administration OSHA

Accident Report Detail

Accident: 200623692 - Employee Is Killed In Explosion While Lighting Water Heater

Accident: 200623692 -- Report ID: 0454732 -- Event Date: 03/02/2006
InspectionOpen DateSICEstablishment Name
At approximately 2:30 p.m. on March 2, 2006, Employee #1 was lighting a natural gas water heater that was located in a basement of an apartment complex, measuring 12 feet by 24 feet. The heater began to bleed too much gas into the basement room. Three other natural gas water heaters were next to one Employee #1 was lighting. As he was lighting the heater, the gas fumes were ignited by one of the other tank's pilot lights, causing an explosion. The explosion did not damage of the structure of the building, but there was enough force to knock Employee #1 down, causing his clothes to ignite. The owner of the apartment complex immediately responded to the incident and threw blankets over Employee #1 to extinguish the fire. Emergency services were contacted, and Employee #1 was transported through helicopter to Vanderbilt Burn Center in Nashville, Tennessee, where he later died due to severe burns on his back and waist.
Keywords: burn, pilot light, abdomen, flammable vapors, fire, back, explosion, water heater
Employee # Inspection Age Sex Degree Nature Occupation
1 309921625 Fatality Burn/Scald(Heat) Technicians, n.e.c.

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