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Occupational Safety and Health Administration OSHA

Accident Report Detail

Accident: 954289 - Three Employees Suffer Burns In Propane Tank Eruption

Accident: 954289 -- Report ID: 0355118 -- Event Date: 04/03/1995
InspectionOpen DateSICEstablishment Name
12664237004/04/19955093Coeburn Produce Of Virginia, Inc.
At Coeburn Produce Co. of VA, Inc., in Coeburn, VA, scrap metal is collected and distributed. Metal cutting by propane- and liquid oxygen-powered torches is routinely performed by employees. At 1:15 p.m. on March 4, 1995, a propane tank located on the western wall of the scrap metal pit area ruptured. The propane tank appears to have ruptured from contact with a Komatsu PC220 LC excavator, which was operated by Employee #2, and an I-beam anchored in the ground behind the tank. Upon rupture, the tank's propane was released in the open air and traveled a distance of 35 ft to an ignition source, which is believed to be the torch operated by Employee #1. Employee #3 operated a second torch in the pit area approximately 20 to 25 ft from Employee #1. Employees #1, #2, and #3 suffered burns.
Keywords: beam, burn, rupture, torch, propane, tank, cutting and burning
Employee # Inspection Age Sex Degree Nature Occupation
1 126642370 Fatality Burn/Scald(Heat) Welders and cutters
2 126642370 Hospitalized injury Burn/Scald(Heat) Excavating and loading machine operators
3 126642370 Non Hospitalized injury Burn/Scald(Heat) Welders and cutters

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