Wednesday July 1, 2009 - Vol. VIII Issue 7

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Technically Speaking
Real-World Explosions and Fire Examples
By Dr. John Nordin, PhD

We will take a snapshot look at example explosions and fires involving chemicals including fuels. Many of the examples chosen occurred at U.S. industrial facilities. Major accidents at these locations are investigated by governmental agencies such as the Chemical Safety Board, the Department of Transportation, Occupational Safety and Health Administration, and the Environmental Protection Agency, and their reports are published and available in the public domain. Other investigations are done by insurance companies. Similar investigations are done by appropriate governmental agencies in several other countries, and the reports are sometimes available. Several of these events are vapor cloud explosions. Some involve tank or vessel explosions and some examples are cascading chain-event accidents. Both catastrophic and smaller scale examples are illustrated.


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