FILM – Electrostatic discharge resulted in ignition and explosion of the vapours of flammable liquid stored in IBC container. Fire broke out. The reason was lack of earthing

Grupa WOLFF

Contact our engineer



We will answer questions about: offer, technical specification, delivery, assembly.

At a plant manufacturing nail varnishes, creams, body lotions and perfumes, ignition and explosion of the vapour of flammable liquid occurred. The source of ignition was electrostatic discharge which originated at the moment a staff member wiped the IBC container with the flammable liquid. The container soon burst into flames, which became a reason for a serious fire. The tragic event was registered by CCTV cameras (Note – the film contains drastic scenes).

Reasons of the explosion

At a plant manufacturing nail varnishes, creams, body lotions and perfumes, ignition and explosion of the vapour of flammable liquid occurred. The source of ignition was electrostatic discharge which originated at the moment a staff member wiped the IBC container with the flammable liquid. The container soon burst into flames, which became a reason for a serious fire. The tragic event was registered by CCTV cameras (Note – the film contains drastic scenes). One of the main offences, being the direct cause of explosion and fire, was lack of earthing system to prevent electrostatic discharge.

Expert’s comment

For flammable liquids special conducting IBC containers are used, made in accordance with CLC/TR 50404 – Electrostatics. Code of practice for the avoidance of hazards due to static electricity, says Łukasz Godawa, the WOLFF GROUP specialist in earthing systems. Such tanks are usually mobile and for the purpose of their earthing simple cables ended with a clamp provided with strong spring and sharp teeth are used, mostly of really hard tungsten carbide. This allows limiting the risk of improper earthing if the place where the clamp is attached is, for example, soiled, rusted, painted or lubricated.

The higher the ignition risk, the more refined protective measures must be applied. As an example, if the container is used several times a day and the stored liquid has low minimal ignition energy, we recommend using systems which will additionally verify whether the proper disposal of electrostatic charge is ensured. Such earthing control systems may signal the situation in a visual, optical manner, but also block the process at the moment the proper earthing is lost.

Explosion consequences

At the moment the firemen entered the building another explosion took place and injured seven of them. Two firemen had to be hospitalised at a burns treatment medical centre. Over one hundred firemen took part in the extinguishing action.

In the event, which took place in November 2017, 125 out of 225 employees of Verla International were injured. Several months after the explosion OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) requested PLN 1 million (over USD 281 thousand) penalty for Verla International.

COMPLETED PROJECTS

Our experience is translated into your peace of mind. See examples of projects that we have completed recently.

SEND YOUR INQUIRY

Are you interested in the above topics?

Grupa WOLFF

Contact our engineer



We will answer questions about: offer, technical specification, delivery, assembly.

or just simply use the contact form below:

Your Name (required)

Your Email (required)

Your Phone (required)

Company (required)

Subject

Your Message

Attach a file