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NIOSH Hazard ID, HID 7 - fire fighting hazards during propane tank fires.

Braddee RW; Washenitz FC II
Morgantown, WV: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, DHHS (NIOSH) Publication No. 99-129, (HID 7), 1999 Jun; :1-2
On April 15, 1998, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) investigated the line-of-duty deaths of two volunteer fire fighters (Report No. 98F14). The investigation was part of the NIOSH Fire Fighter Fatality Investigation and Prevention Program. Both fire fighters were part of a volunteer fire department that responded to an 18,000-gallon bulk propane tank fire. The fire started after unprotected external piping from the tank was struck by an all-terrain vehicle and the propane vapors were ignited by a pilot flame from a nearby vaporizer. Upon arrival at the fire scene, the firefighters watered down the buildings adjacent to the propane tank and allowed the tank to burn itself out, since the tank was venting. About 8 minutes after the fire fighters arrived, the tank exploded, separated into four parts, and flew in four directions. The two fire fighters (who were approximately 105 feet from the tank) were struck by a piece of the exploding tank and killed instantly. Six other fire fighters and a deputy sheriff were injured as a result of the explosion. Such explosions may occur whenever flames contact propane tanks.
Accident-prevention; Fire-fighting; Propanes; Explosive-gases; Emergency-response; Storage-containers; Hazardous-materials; Work-practices; Training
Publication Date
Document Type
Numbered Publication; Hazard ID
Fiscal Year
Identifying No.
DHHS (NIOSH) Publication No. 99-129; HID-7
NIOSH Division
Source Name
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Morgantown, West Virginia
Page last reviewed: October 1, 2021
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division