At around 8:55 p.m., a natural gas explosion (vapour cloud explosion - VCE) occurred on a bridge pier containing a polyethylene natural gas pipeline (DN125) passing through a stainless steel sheath, and a steel pipeline (DN 114). A fire had initially broken out at around 8 p.m. in a squat on another pier. The heat fluxes released caused the steel pipe to bend and the polyethylene pipe to melt. Natural gas was thus able to migrate through the sleeve via its couplings and form explosive pockets.
A natural gas leak was reported in the city center around 11:30 am on a water network. Emergency services set up a security perimeter and conduct reconnaissance , when an explosion 45 minutes later damaged several buildings. Fire reached the buildings near the site of the explosion before spreading to other buildings. The intervention mobilized 180 firefighters and 300 police officers. The gas leak is no longer supplied to 2:15 p.m. Between 500 and 1,000 people were evacuated , including childrens, school's staff and day care nursery. 38 residen [...]
At around 5 p.m., a massive explosion destroyed a 4-storey building consisting of 10 flats, killing 17 people and injuring 15 others. Two semi-detached council housing buildings were damaged (10 flats). One hundred firemen intervened, assisted by search and rescue teams: dog-handlers, heavy machinery such as backhoe loaders, etc. A security perimeter was set up. Rescue operations are made difficult by the possibility of residual gas pockets: fire hoses are installed as long as the risk is present. 274 homes were without gas while the premises [...]
At 6:40 am, a road tanker containing 12 m³ of liquefied propane under 8 bar of pressure struck the gate of a filling centre. A leak ensued on the cistern around the drain downstream of the distribution pump (diameter: 12 mm), housed in the right side compartment in back of the lorry. Ripping the compartment off its support caused bursting of the drain located between the bottom flap and the closure valve. The flap, which was at least partially open, was unable to provide a seal. The centre's manager activated the site's shutdown procedure and tr [...]
An explosion occurred at 1:30 am inside an urban heating plant (500 MW, 6,000 m² floor area), with the energy dissipated into the ground estimated at the equivalent of a 50 kg charge of TNT. Operational since 1987, this heating unit comprised 5 boilers (2 coal-fired, 2 fuelled by a coal/gas mix, and 1 gas-powered). During the previous shift, several attempts to start up one of the mixed fuel boilers failed. Unable to restart the equipment and with the gas inlet pressure gauges indicating zero pressure, the foreman of the night shift ordered ope [...]
A flash followed by a fire and explosion occurred at an LPG filling station. The building depot was divided into several zones: a carrousel for filling 13-kg propane bottles, a 35-kg bottle-filling zone, a testing zone, a palletizing platform, and a painting booth. The building was fitted with 2 fans (2,000 m³/h each), servo-controlled to the product inflow. Filling was performed via a clip that when placed to the right of the bottle tap orifice initiated a pneumatic sequence (clip connection, bottle tap opening, gas valve opening, then at the [...]
At 10:39 pm, the landslide of a portion of Mount Toc sent 260 million m3 of earth and rock hurtling at more than 90 km/h into the full reservoir adjoining the Vajont Dam. The falling rock nearly instantaneously filled the storage reservoir. Two waves, containing 25 million m3 of water each, unfurled both downstream and upstream of the reservoir. The water rose above the dam crest, forming a wave higher than 150 metres that rushed into the gorge in the direction of downstream, town of Longarone.
The thrust of this water mass into the very narrow [...]