Detonation of a flammable cloud following a propane pipeline break: the December 9, 1970, explosion in Port Hudson, Mo
Detonation of a flammable cloud following a propane pipeline break: the December 9, 1970, explosion in Port Hudson, Mo The Bureau of Mines was invited to investigate a propane-air explosion that occurred in the vicinity of a pipe-line break, which was unique in the investigators' experience in that it involved the detonation of a large unconfined cloud of flammable mixture. It is also of current interest in that it represents a ''worst-possible'' sort of case history for assessment of the hazards of fuel transportation. The incidents that preceded the propane-air explosion are summarized and attempts are made to establish the nature of the explosion from the ensuing events. Special emphasis is given to possible ignition sources, the distribution of flammable vapors, and the analysis of blast damage. Both near- and far-field damage indicated that this explosion may be attributed to the detonation of propane in air with an energy release equivalent to that from about 50 tons of detonating TNT. (auth)
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