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  1. #1
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    Default Local boiler explosion

    A small boiler exploded in South St Louis, and landed several hundred feet away in another building. The account reads very much like those of a hundred or more years ago, as if nobody has learned anything.

    Apparently St Louis does not require boiler inspections, although I assume the company's insurance carrier does. All the city requires is a licensed operator on duty.

    2 new employees filling out paperwork among dead in St. Louis boiler explosion | Law and order | stltoday.com

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    Saw that yesterday. Kinda crazy. I know a guy whose shop is a couple doors down from where the big "van sized" piece landed, putting a hole in the roof of Faultless Healthcare Linen.

    Imagine wrenching away at work and all of a sudden... a boom like that on your block.

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    Default Boiler Safety Rules are Written in Blood

    I've posted this before. An old-timer once said to me "Boiler Safety Rules are Written in Blood!" That could be paraphrased to say "boiler codes."

    It will be very interesting to see if operator error or the condition of the boiler is the root cause of this fatal incident.

    The news coverage will be written by non-technical type people, so it may contain "howlers" and other incorrect information. Certainly, in the words of General Schwarzkopf, "The first reports are always wrong." It may be a while before a correct picture emerges.

    JST: "As if nobody had learned anything" That's part of "the human condition!" humankind forgets or discards the lessons learned by previous generations and therefore repeats their mistakes!

    John Ruth
    Last edited by SouthBendModel34; 04-04-2017 at 11:09 AM. Reason: typo

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    Made the news here.

    When I was a kid a CO2 storage tank at the ADM plant in Clinton, IA exploded due to a failed pressure relief system (among other things). Part of the tank ended up in a basement a few blocks away. The majority of the tank ended up on an island in the Mississippi river 1/4 mile away.

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    I just saw on my phone, a friend posted a link on facebook - security cam from across the street showed it happening. I think it was either local CBS or Fox news site.

    It had a full 10 second hang time. Shot up in the air and didn't hit the roof for 10. full. seconds. That's a helluva rocket.

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    One of my summer jobs was at an epoxy manufacturer's plant. Most were mixed in various size vats but some had to be cooked on a gas burner just out the back door of the shop. A fellow had just put a 55 gallon drum of epoxy on the burner and lite off the fire. Before removing the bung and installing the little mixer, the lunch truck pulled in; so off he went to lunch. About 15 minutes into the break we hear a loud bang and witness the 55 gallon drum lift off through the corrugated steel roof over the burner and arc down range with a flaming rooster tail to a warehouse on the next block. Burned the warehouse to the ground. Damnist thing I ever saw...

    John

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    Some folks slept through science class.

    What, the owners don't watch Myth Busters?

    Some bells you can't unring.

    Schools should squeeze in a 30 minute class on "Risk, Versus Reward". If the property owners posted the best video on YouTube, perhaps there's a "reward"....

    Has Nooter sent over a salesman?

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    You would not believe how many people have been known to plug the pressure relief on thier water heater because it weeps water.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SouthBendModel34 View Post
    JST: "As if nobody had learned anything" That's part of "the human condition!" humankind forgets or discards the lessons learned by previous generations and therefore repeats their mistakes!
    During the earthquake, the two blocks between us and Knik Inlet fell down about twenty feet, giving us a nice view of Mt McKinley.

    They are building houses on that land again.

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    Damn, that's a good view from China. What's your elevation?

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    Quote Originally Posted by arc View Post
    You would not believe how many people have been known to plug the pressure relief on thier water heater because it weeps water.
    ...watch the center of the roof...water heater launches at the 12 second mark...lands at 28 seconds...

    50 Gallon water heater explosion - YouTube

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Rand View Post
    Damn, that's a good view from China. What's your elevation?
    Have you lived in the same place since 1964 ? I'm jealous ...

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    Serious question - from the pix it looks like a tank (or most of one) landed largely intact on top of the innocent folk who are now dead.

    If it was a BLEVE wouldn't that tend to blow the tank apart? So would this be some other kind of explosion? Or is there a general principle that explosions tend to blow out one part of the tank and turn the rest into a missle? (Like knocking the head off a high pressure gas tank?)

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    Quote Originally Posted by bryan_machine View Post
    Serious question - from the pix it looks like a tank (or most of one) landed largely intact on top of the innocent folk who are now dead.

    If it was a BLEVE wouldn't that tend to blow the tank apart? So would this be some other kind of explosion? Or is there a general principle that explosions tend to blow out one part of the tank and turn the rest into a missle? (Like knocking the head off a high pressure gas tank?)

    Exactly. Tanks tend to fail at the ends for horizontal tanks. The failed end is engulfed in fire and the balance becomes a missile. Propane tank cars have launched their remains over 1/2 mile in many instances.

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    It's the water rocket effect. The water blows out the failed area, and the reaction shoots the tank. In this case about 500 feet.

    I have no idea if the one in this incident was horizontal or vertical.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JST View Post
    It's the water rocket effect.
    You had one of those as a kid, too, eh? Red clear plastic top, fill to the line, attach the air
    pump, and don't point it at your eyes....

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    that makes this event even more tragic - implies that mundane, reasonable cost measures would have prevented it....

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    It was a great tool for getting kids interested in science. I remember spending hours trying to optimize the amount of water vs the amount of air and how many pumps it took to pressurize.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bryan_machine View Post
    that makes this event even more tragic - implies that mundane, reasonable cost measures would have prevented it....
    Also, doesn't the city/state have a boiler inspection process funded by the taxpayers ?
    Someone isn't doing their job eh ?


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