Over Pressurized Pipe Blows Up

Monday, March 12, 2012 @ 02:03 PM gHale


An explosion in an over pressurized pipe sent six Shape Manufacturing workers to the hospital in Louisville, KY, last week.

An employee of the business said he believes a pressure explosion caused the injuries. He also said no natural gas, or chemicals leaked and there was no fire associated with the incident.

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Fairdale fire chief Don Wittry said several workers suffered facial, head and arm injuries. Wittry said a 300-yard PVC pipe filled with compressed air exploded across the entire length of the building, sending shrapnel from the shattered pipe onto the workers’ heads. It was not immediately clear what caused the pipe, which Wittry described as 6 to 8″ in diameter, to burst.

“The pipe is approximately 6 inches in diameter and at it’s height, its supposed to contain 100 psi of air,” Wittry said. “Something either over-pressured the pipe, or there was a valve or something that just did not work properly.”

“That’s a piece of the pipe. Actually there were four of those, four runs of that size pipe, and that was the largest piece we could find,” Wittry said. “The shards of this PVC pipe rained down on the employees throughout the facility.”

Shape Manufacturing produces commercial and light industrial HVAC and dust collection systems.



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