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Video Transcript – Oxygen Cylinder Explosion

The following slides were taken as a part of an investigation involving an explosion of an E cylinder of oxygen the explosion occurred in the maintenance area of a home care company. As the story goes, the cylinder valve was defective and would not open.

The maintenance worker attempted to loosed the valve to a point that would allow the oxygen leak out of the cylinder gradually. Okay, so the first set of slides here is the wrench the gentleman was using to take the valve off the cylinder.

This just shows the valves fitting on the cylinder. This is a chain vise he was using to hold the cylinder on the workbench and when the cylinder exploded it just ripped the chain right off the vise and the cylinder bounced here; hit the workbench – you can see the workbench is pretty much damaged here, and this item on the workbench just happens to be the gentleman’s watch that was ripped completely off his arm and his arm was severed completely between the elbow and the wrist.

This is where his separate arm landed, and this is a picture of where the cylinder valve and cylinder landed – close up of the cylinder valve shows the markings of where the Solent, the adjustable wrench, was on the valve.

You can see if you look a little closer, you can see that if the force of the explosion was so hot that it melted the cylinder valve on the inside of the tank. This is a piece of shrapnel from the top of the cylinder. This is another piece of shrapnel from the top of the cylinder. You can see it’s pretty much flattened.

Remember this is an E cylinder – showing how sharp the edges are. Again, this is the cylinder itself, looking down inside the cylinder. And where did the top of the cylinder go? Well, it embedded itself in the pegboard on the wall across the room.

The explosion was so hot that it melted the inside of the top of the cylinder and it also melted the threads where the cylinder valve attached.