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Mobile Acetylene Cylinders : Hazard Potential Not To Be Underestimated!

Mobile acetylene cylinders : Hazard potential not to be underestimated!

  • Flash
Mobile acetylene cylinders are present in all sectors of activity owing to their common use on welding machines. Even if they look like risk free, these cylinders are real hazard potential ! Five major accidents in France since the beginning of 2018 drive us to remind to users and owners the risks associated to these cylinders.
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46180

  • Accident report
  • FRANCE
The summary of this accident has not yet been translated. In the meantime, please refer to the French summary :

Vers 5h20, une explosion se produit dans une fonderie. Le bilan est de 8 blessés légers dont 5 soignés sur place et 3 à l'hôpital. Les 76 employés présents évacuent les lieux. L'explosion entraîne un dépôt au sol des poussières qui se trouvaient sur les structures du bâtiment, en hauteur. Des plaques de fibrociment du toit sont endommagées sur 200 m². Le souffle provoque le déplacement et la destruction partielle de ces [...]

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Discharge of effluents containing heavy metals into a river

  • Accident report
  • FINLANDE

For 30 hours, 66 t of nickel sulphate, from a metallurgical plant producing nickel cathodes and 50,000 t of nickel-based chemicals, spilt into the Kokemaki River. The highest concentration of nickel measured in the river was 8,800μg/l for an instant environmental standard of 34μg/l, and an average concentration limited to 1μg/l. Significant mortality of mussels was observed. Mortality of the species Unio crassus (listed in the Habitats Directive) occurred 5-7 days after the pollution release. It was estimated that between 1 and 1.1 million spec [...]

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A spill of molten cast iron during unloading in a steel plant

  • Accident report
  • ITALIE

Between 2014 and 2016, several spills of molten liquid iron occurred during unloading operations in a steel plant. The molten cast iron produced by the blast furnaces is discharged through a pouring hole in the lower part of the crucible. It is then collected in a refractory lined casting channel, where the separation of pig iron and slag occurs owing to their specific weight. After the slag is separated, the molten cast iron is dumped by means of a rocker loading arm into "torpedo" cars. These elongated cars are lined with refractory materials.

[...]
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Explosion water / molten metal

  • Fact sheet
Explosions following a molten metal / water contact are well-known accidents in the metallurgical industry, which sometimes result in significant human and material consequences. The ARIA database contains some fifty such events implying ferrous and non-ferrous metals melt. The fact sheet to be downloaded presents the specificities of this type of explosion.
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Fire outbreak on a stripping unit inside a steel mill

  • Accident report
  • FRANCE

Fire was detected at 10:05 pm in the stainless steel sheet stripping unit of an upper-tier Seveso metallurgical plant. The surface treatment line, composed of 7 unheated polypropylene tanks (5 containing hydrochloric acid, 1 containing hydrofluoric acid, 1 containing nitric acid). The smoke plume was blown by the wind (at 5 to 12 m/s) northwards to an undeveloped zone. The internal emergency plan was activated. In-house fire-fighters were unable to control the blaze and notified municipal first responders at 10:27. The crew called of approx. 100 [...]

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Massive Alumina Red Sludge Release After The Failure Of A Containment Dam

Massive alumina red sludge release after the failure of a containment dam

  • Accident report
  • HONGRIE

Around noon, a red sludge basin at an aluminium production site employing some 1,200 personnel broke over a 50-m length, releasing 1 million m³ of highly basic sludge; 10 people were killed and another 286 injured (due to chemical burns and ocular irritation), of whom 121 had to be hospitalised. A total of 284 residences were destroyed and 400 evacuees had to be housed as an emergency measure.

According to the site operator, this sludge contained: 40% to 45% Fe2O3, which was responsible for its red colour; 10-15% Al2O3; 10-15% SiO2; 6-10% CaO; [...]

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Explosion During A Cupola Drop Inside A Foundry

Explosion during a cupola drop inside a foundry

  • Accident report
  • FRANCE

In a cast iron foundry that alternates the use of two cupola furnaces every other day, an explosion occurred at 6.30 pm during furnace unloading (carried out via hatches placed underneath the furnace) of meltdown products into a tub. Coke, cast iron and slag were all strewn throughout the building and 30 m² of roof were destroyed. Emergency services were notified and all company personnel had to be evacuated. Positioned 10 m from the cupola furnace and equipped with a powerful hose to spray these products with water should a fire break out, an [...]

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Polluted Effluents Released Into The Cher River

Polluted effluents released into the Cher River

  • Accident report
  • FRANCE

In a plant operating 6 metal surface treatment lines (total bath volume: 196 m³), an operator observed around 8:15 pm that 1,000 liters of cyanide alkaline copper had spilled into a concrete retention basin after an output pipe detachment on a regeneration filter for the bath of a multi-treatment line.Informed of the incident at his home, the plant's safety supervisor requested the operator to close this installation (shutdown of the heating system) and to leave the bath in the retention area. The incident was recorded in the appropriate logboo [...]

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Emission Of Dangerous Substances In A Surface Treatment Facility

Emission of dangerous substances in a surface treatment facility

  • Accident report
  • FRANCE

In the stripping workshop of a firm specialised in the stamping and machining of parts made of an aluminium and titanium alloy, a large quantity of nitrous vapours were released in the 3,500-litre cold-working, fluonitric acid bath (containing 5% HNO3 and 15% HF at 40%). Fire-fighters with a chemical emergency squad were called to pump 1,900 litres of the bath, whose temperature kept increasing to 102°C; at this point, they stopped pumping in order to cool the remaining bath by means of dilution with water. At 50°C, they were able to complete [...]

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