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Three Hispanic acetylene manufacturing plant workers killed in explosion.

New Jersey Department of Health
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, FACE 05NJ007, 2007 Jan; :1-14
On January 25, 2005, three workers at an acetylene manufacturing and bottling plant were killed and a fourth worker was seriously injured when acetylene gas collected and exploded in a shed outside the plant. The incident occurred shortly after the workers started the plant's acetylene generator to make acetylene gas. Due to the severe winter cold, the employees regularly drained a recycled water supply line, which fed the generator, to keep it from freezing. With the failure of a critical check valve, other valves in the open position, and no water pressure in the line, this open pipe created a pathway from the acetylene generator to the lime shed, where the drain valve remained open. The acetylene collected in the shed and was most likely ignited by the hot surface of a sealed space heater inside the shed. The explosion completely destroyed the shed, killing and injuring the victims and severely damaged the adjoining buildings. NJ FACE investigators recommend following these safety guidelines to prevent similar incidents: 1. Follow the recommendations issued by Federal OSHA and the US Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigative Board. 2. Develop procedures and thoroughly train personnel in operating the acetylene generation system. 3. Develop electronic monitoring systems for critical processes and valves. 4. Ensure that process pipes are properly designed to prevent freezing, provided with proper venting, and equipped with redundant valves for critical applications. 5. Use proper ventilation and an acetylene detection system to prevent and monitor for dangerous gas concentrations. 6. Conduct a job hazard analysis of all work activities with the participation of the workers.
Region-2; Accident-analysis; Accident-potential; Accident-prevention; Accidents; Injuries; Injury-prevention; Safety-education; Safety-equipment; Safety-practices; Safety-measures; Traumatic-injuries; Work-practices; Training; Work-analysis; Work-environment; Work-performance; Explosive-atmospheres; Explosive-gases
Publication Date
Document Type
Field Studies; Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation
Funding Type
Cooperative Agreement
Fiscal Year
NTIS Accession No.
NTIS Price
Identifying No.
FACE-05NJ007; Cooperative-Agreement-Number-U60-OH-008485; Cooperative-Agreement-Number-U60-OH-008345
SIC Code
Source Name
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Performing Organization
New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services
Page last reviewed: August 19, 2022
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division