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Occupational Safety and Health Administration OSHA

Accident Report Detail

Accident: 822718 - Employees Burned When Ruptured Gas Line Explodes

Accident: 822718 -- Report ID: 0352440 -- Event Date: 06/22/1987
InspectionOpen DateSICEstablishment Name
1886426406/23/19871521The Venture Group Of Maryland, Inc.
A private single family dwelling was being remodeled and extended, which included removing a concrete slab front stoop and replacing it with a two-story vestibule. The contractor performing the work was a very small company accustomed to building single homes. The vice president of the company was working as the site superintendent and backhoe operator. Believing the gas main to be on one side of the stoop and the septic line on the other, he directed two men to hand dig in both areas, but they found nothing. After the stoop had been removed to about 3 ft down and 3 ft along the wall at both ends, the superintendent believed the pipes to be beyond these limits and released the diggers for lunch. At approximately 1:00 p.m., he started digging with his backhoe and struck the gas line, rupturing it. The line extended to the center of the front door. Since the gas company had been at the site a month before to fix a leak the superindent knew where the street shut-off valve was. He assigned two men to carefully clear the dirt away from the leak to ensure that the gas would vent. After about five minutes, he attempted to shut off the gas and the house blew up and burned. Employee #1 sustained first- and second-degree burns over 18 percent of his body and Employee #2 suffered first-degree burns over 45 percent of his body. Both were hospitalized.
Keywords: burn, leak, work rules, gas, rupture, explosion, accidental discharge, backhoe
Employee # Inspection Age Sex Degree Nature Occupation
1 18864264 Hospitalized injury Burn/Scald(Heat) Carpenters
2 18864264 Hospitalized injury Burn/Scald(Heat) Carpenters

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