During dismantling of a power plant, as two subcontractors were in the process of flame-cutting a 5-cm diameter pipe, a burst of flames surged around 11:50 am. The 2 employees tried in vain to spray 2 extinguishers on the flames, which were fed by oil still present in the pipeline. They then notified emergency services. The worksite was closed and evacuated. Propane and oxygen intake lines were shut off. Reaching the scene in 10 min, fire-fighters dealt with 3 instances of fire re-ignition, in ultimately extinguishing the blaze by 1:50 pm.

To prevent this type of event from recurring, the firm in charge of the dismantling job planned to: inspect zones where liquids may be present (pipes, sinks, tarps) before all flame-cutting, and install a lookout post with an extinguisher on the floor to respond quickly to any fire outbreak.

The presence of oil in the pipe revealed insufficient drainage of the supply tank. The subcontractor’s risk analysis had failed to identify this hypothesis.