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Occupational Safety and Health Administration OSHA

Accident Report Detail

Accident: 830281 - Burn - Natural Gas Explosion In Manhole

Accident: 830281 -- Report ID: 0522000 -- Event Date: 01/07/1993
InspectionOpen DateSICEstablishment Name
10169357001/07/19934931Dayton Power And Light Company
A fire occurred in a utility manhole. After the fire was extinguished, two power line workers for an electric utility went to the 1.8-meter-deep manhole, apparently to repair cables that were damaged in the fire. All cables in the manhole had been deenergized. The employees used a blower to ventilate the atmosphere in the manhole for about an hour before entry. They never tested the atmosphere, however. The fire had apparently caused a leak in a low-pressure gas line adjacent to the cable on which the employees were working. The leaking gas seeped into an electrical conduit that terminated in an opening near the employees' work area. About 12 hours after the fire, one of the employees (Employee #1) lit a small, hand-held propane torch to heat shrink an insulating sleeve around a cable. When he swung the torch toward the sleeve, there was an explosion and a flash fire. Both employees suffered second-degree burns on their heads, faces, and necks. They were hospitalized for their injuries.
Keywords: burn, leak, power line worker, natural gas, explosion, elec utility work, manhole
Employee # Inspection Age Sex Degree Nature Occupation
1 101693570 Hospitalized injury Burn/Scald(Heat) Electrical power installers and repairers
2 101693570 Hospitalized injury Burn/Scald(Heat) Electrical power installers and repairers

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