Fire broke out around 11:40 pm on the front bumper of a propane tanker lorry parked near the vehicle repair shop at a company operating as a gas bottle transporter and broker of bulk liquid and liquefied hydrocarbons. This 200-employee company was subject to conditions outlined in the “Classified Facilities” legislation for storing bottles of flammable liquefied gas of a total amount inferior to 50 tonnes. A watchman with the industrial park’s security firm notified emergency services. A BLEVE-type vapour explosion occurred at 12:17 am on the lorry, which was carrying 4 tonnes of propane (64% of its capacity). No serious injuries were reported, although 12 fire-fighters who felt the blast suffered from strong headaches and/or hearing disorders; they were able to take cover prior to the explosion after hearing a whistle coming from the lorry and did not require hospitalisation. The 90 fire-fighters and 36 vehicles deployed brought the blaze under control using water and foam by around 2 am, in relying on 2 fire hydrants. The fire was extinguished at 4:30 am; 4 damaged tanker lorries were secured later in the day (by draining the LPG for one and burning gas with a flare for the other 3). A company driver was slightly injured by the shattered windscreen while removing a lorry; first aid treatment was provided on-site. Emergency crews remained at the scene until 10 pm.

On the premises, besides the lorry causing the accident being subsequently destroyed, BLEVE explosion effects ignited the repair shop (destroyed) and a maintenance shop (seriously damaged), both built with metal cladding, in addition to destroying 2 liquid hydrocarbon tanker lorries and the cabs of 4 gas tanker lorries (3 were empty but not yet degassed, while the other was 80% filled). The pressure surge effect damaged the administrative building (cinder block walls displaced), shattered windows on cars and on 48 heavy vehicles, and sprayed building siding material even beyond the facility boundary.

According to a city hall survey, 105 individuals and about 20 retailers offsite had windows or storefronts shattered; the blast effect also damaged silos (explosion discharge zones in the upper gallery and the central suction vent blown out, a blocked insulating door between floors on the tower) and hangar cladding. The bottom of the cistern on the cab side and the manhole on the exploded lorry were both ejected beyond the site at respective distances of 30 and 160 m from the point of explosion. Two secondary explosions occurred during the fire on gas bottles present in the repair shop. It was also noted that four bushfires had ignited away from the site.

The Prefecture issued a press release, and both judicial and administrative investigations were undertaken to determine the causes and circumstances of this accident.

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