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Investigation and Analysis of an Explosion in a Research Laboratory at a French University

Abstract : The accident occurred on March 24th, 2006 at 0:24 pm in a research laboratory building of the National Institution of Higher Learning in Chemistry of Mulhouse (ENSCMu) at University of Haute Alsace (France). Due to a leak from a gas cylinder, a violent explosion of ethylene took place in the enclosed laboratory space and was followed by a fire. The accident killed one professor, seriously injured a young trainee and injured 20 persons. The initial blast of the Vapour Cloud Explosion and the fire that burned for about 5 hours caused several major damages within the laboratory and the surrounding. The corresponding facilities were destroyed. Fragments were hurled up to 100 m. The sound of the shock wave was heard 10 km away. The estimated cost of the accident was about 25 M(sic). The paper intends to summarize a detailed investigation report of the event. It points out the absence of hazard identification or risk analysis as a potential root cause factor, among others.
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Submitted on : Friday, February 19, 2016 - 4:47:32 PM
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André Laurent, Laurent Perrin, Olivier Dufaud. Investigation and Analysis of an Explosion in a Research Laboratory at a French University. CISAP6: 6TH INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON SAFETY & ENVIRONMENT IN PROCESS & POWER INDUSTRY, 2014, Bologne, Italy. pp.7-12, ⟨10.3303/CET1436002⟩. ⟨hal-01276649⟩



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