At 09:10, several explosions, followed by fire start, occurred when filling a 100-cylinder load from an acetylene gasholder used to store the gas produced in the calcium carbide unit d A plant for the production of acetylene and cylinder filling. An operator switches off the power supply to the main switch 45 seconds after the first explosion. Eleven cylinders open partially or completely. Deflagration or detonation occurred in the piping system and probably in the cylinders. Acetylene is released to the atmosphere. This output is due to continued gas production while the compressors were shut down or an acetylene reflux from the high pressure system where the valves leaked after melting their seats.
Local firefighters extinguish the fire. Cooling with water is continued for 24 hours before all valves can be closed. Bottles exposed to fire are emptied outdoors.
The explosion injures a person who is hospitalized for observation. Part of the roof explodes, the windows are blown and part of the wall between the loading room and the electric room collapses. The cylinder filling equipment and pressure cylinders are damaged with broken or leaking valves. The damages are estimated at DKK 3.6 million (€ 0.5 million). Outside the establishment, a few windows are broken by explosions.
The filling operation began in the loading room at 7 am. An operator inspected the front of the racks at 9 am and everything was normal. A high-pressure hose or decomposition of acetylene would have caused a rupture of the pipes and thus an explosive gas release in the loading room. The leakage of a high-pressure hose is due to insufficient component design and an inadequate maintenance schedule.
After the accident, the installation with equipment for the filling of the bottles is rebuilt. The operator improve:
- The design of piping and piping components;
- The maintenance program;
- Protection against overpressure of acetylene compressors;
- Emergency planning.
He install a new sprinkler system for the cylinder filling installation.