Pollution
Humain
Environnement
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While re-commissioning a steam pipeline (180°C and 22 bar) running through an underground tunnel, an explosion caused steam to be released. The workers undertaking repair operations at this phase were trapped in the tunnel by the steam and temperature flow. The workers in the technical tunnel (- 25 m) were killed on the spot (3 persons), as well as the ones at 10 m below ground level; eight out of nine other workers in other zones or at the upper level (at 3 m below ground level) sustained severe burns. The team was carrying out a delicate operation of increasing pressure on a 4.5 km section along with tests on the line. The operator presented the overall procedure as standard. Investigations were carried out to determine the causes of the accident.