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  1. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by digger doug View Post
    Also, doesn't the city/state have a boiler inspection process funded by the taxpayers ?
    Someone isn't doing their job eh ?
    NO....

    City does NOT inspect boilers. They just require a licensed operator on duty whenever it is in use, presumably expecting that person can shut down the boiler and perform an inspection when needed.

    Fat chance, that guy is told what to do and when. He won't be allowed to shut off jack.

    I would assume the insurance people require 3rd party inspection of boilers. But no idea if this one was ever inspected.

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  3. #22
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    Plus, imagining that part of town, I'm betting negligence is quite likely. Whether it's on the part of a 3rd party inspector, or the people working there. Very unfortunate.

  4. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by digger doug View Post
    Also, doesn't the city/state have a boiler inspection process funded by the taxpayers ?
    Someone isn't doing their job eh ?
    In California, as a former pressure vessel manufacturer (not user), we could have the state Department of Industrial Relations come out for inspection, or hire the Hartford or other insurance inspectors. We always used the State. They were knowledgeable and good at their job (amazing for Cal GOV!).

    At the new job, the plant super says no one has ever looked at the air receivers on our compressors, not the state, city, fire or insurance. He said they last about 3 years before the heads are gone and we evidently then buy new. Glad retirement is upon me, and I don't have to worry about a 1000 gallon air receiver exploding on the other side of the building from me...

  5. #24
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    More recent news stories suggest that the boiler in question may not have been inspected for many years.

    The State requires inspections, but the City of St Louis is exempted from that requirement. And the city does not require inspections, just the licensed operator, apparently relying on the operator to make the call for inspection, or to shut down in case of unsafe operation. But the licensed operator has a boss........ who is not typically fond of shutdowns, or anything expensive.

    So, unless an insurance company required the inspection as a condition of insurance, AND knew there was a boiler, it seems as if it may have been many years since inspection. If the company self-insures, it seems highly unlikely that any inspections by 3rd parties have ever been done, based on typical business behavior in low-margin industries.

    And if the insurance folks (assuming there were insurance policies) did NOT know there was a boiler, it's possible they may decline to cover the results of the accident.

  6. #25
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    There was a pic of the thing being pulled out of the building it landed on in the paper today. One end obviously blew out, and sent it out like a rocket.

    They also said it was not actually a boiler, they called it a "Semi closed reciever"

    Tank that exploded and killed four people is removed from St. Louis laundry company roof | Metro | stltoday.com

  7. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by JST View Post
    There was a pic of the thing being pulled out of the building it landed on in the paper today. One end obviously blew out, and sent it out like a rocket.

    They also said it was not actually a boiler, they called it a "Semi closed reciever"

    Tank that exploded and killed four people is removed from St. Louis laundry company roof | Metro | stltoday.com
    From the photo it seems very similar to an incident years ago in NYC.

    There was a processing lab on an upper floor in a tall building, which relied on water pumped up from tanks in the
    basement. Plumbers had partly finished an installation for new pumps, but had not tied in the pressure switches.

    In the morning the folks in the lab upstairs closed the switch that started the pumps, which overpressured the system.
    One of the vertical, cylindrical tanks had the dished head on the bottom snap through, and fail. It then performed the
    classic water/air rocket thing as the water in the bottom shot out through the failed head.

    Because this was in the concrete basement, there would have been no harm - except the specific tank that failed, was
    directly under a gas main that ran along the ceiling. And there was a poorly made-up fitting (found later in the wreckage)
    that came loose.

    Gas filled the basement area, and was distributed through the building via the elevator shafts, where incoming workers
    were cycling the elevators to get to their offices on upper floors. Until there was an ignition source.

    All from the amazing book "Why Buildings Fall Down" by Levy and Salvadori.

    Why Buildings Fall Down: How Structures Fail: Matthys Levy, Mario Salvadori, Kevin Woest: 978393311525: Amazon.com: Books

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