In a pyrotechnic plant, a fire broke out in the material destruction zone while unloading a lorry containing boxes of pyrotechnic products (fireworks and other chemical products). “Mad peas” firework products or chemical materials caught on fire and triggered a violent blaze consuming those products already placed on the slab and in the lorry. One employee was seriously burned and another sustained more minor injuries. The lorry, which had been parked near the slab and not in back of the fire resistant wall, was destroyed.
Initial investigation findings included the following observations: the types of products being transported were poorly known and poorly catalogued. Incompatible products, like for example chemical materials and pyrotechnic devices, were able to make contact with one another. Similarly, products sensitive to friction or shock could have been spread on the ground, thereby increasing the risk of ignition by stepping on one. Moreover, the employee severely injured was not wearing any safety clothing.
Pyrotechnic specialists have stressed the following recommendations:
– the need to reduce the quantity of material to be destroyed as well as the quantity located within proximity of the destruction zone;
– the benefit of keeping destruction zones cleared of materials in order to facilitate emergency exit paths;
– the importance of training provided to destruction technicians (wearing of protection equipments, knowledge of specific risks, etc.);
– the emphasis on efficient emergency response and communication resources.