Explosion caused by mixing a combustible gas with air in the presence of an ignition source
A gas explosion is an explosion resulting from mixing a gas, typically from a gas leak, with air in the presence of an ignition source. In household accidents, the principal explosive gases are those used for heating or cooking purposes such as natural gas, methane, propane, butane. In industrial explosions many other gases, like hydrogen, as well as evaporated (gaseous) gasoline (American English)/petrol (British English) or ethanol play an important role. Industrial gas explosions can be prevented with the use of intrinsic safety barriers to prevent ignition.
Whether a mixture of air and gas is combustible depends on the air-to-fuel ratio. For each fuel, ignition occurs only within a certain range of concentration, known as the upper and lower flammability limits. For example, for methane and gasoline vapor, this range is 5-15% and 1.4-7.6% gas to air, respectively. An explosion can only occur when fuel concentration is within these limits.
Reading, Pennsylvania, January 9, 1968. An explosion killed nine persons and demolished two houses. A gas company spokesman said Reading workmen digging in the street to repair a water main had hit a gas line shortly before the explosion.
The Richmond, Indiana explosion, on Saturday, April 6, 1968. Two explosions occur in mid-afternoon, in the middle of downtown Richmond, Indiana. The first is caused by a natural gas leak, and the second, by gunpowder and ammunition inside a sporting goods store. 41 people are killed and more than 150 injured. Four square blocks of downtown Richmond, Indiana, are heavily damaged by the explosion or subsequent fire.
Ronan Point was a 23-story counciltower block in Newham, east London. On 16 May 1968 a gas explosion caused the collapse of a whole corner of the building. Four people were killed in the collapse, with one dying later of injuries.
Clarkston explosion on 21 October 1971, a build-up of gas under a shopping centre left 22 dead and around 100 injured.
23 October 1980, a propane explosion at Escuela Nacional de Marcelino Ugalde (Marcelino Ugalde Primary School), Ortuella, Vizcaya, Spain. According to the local government's official report, 50 schoolchildren and 3 adult were killed and an additional 128 persons injured.
24 March 1986 Loscoe gas explosion - no fatalities but extensive property destruction, this caused the UK Government to legislate on landfill sites and building practices with regard to landfill gas migration.
25 May 1989 - Following the San Bernardino train disaster which had claimed the lives of four people and demolished several houses, a section of the Calnev Pipeline ruptured and exploded after it was damaged by construction equipment clearing the crash site, killing an additional two people and destroying eleven more houses.
The 1989 Ufa train disaster was caused by a gas explosion from a leaking pipeline as two trains went by, their sparks igniting the gas. 575 people died.
The 1992 explosion in Guadalajara, Mexico's second largest city, took place on April 22, 1992 in the downtown district of Analco. Numerous gasoline explosions in the sewer system over four hours destroyed kilometers of streets. Officially, 206 people were killed, nearly 500 injured and 15,000 were left homeless.
On September 11, 1998, in Bucheon, South Korea, an LPG filling station for propane and butane caught fire, causing a massive fire and several very large explosions.[circular reference] Two storage tanks and several vehicles were destroyed, killing 1 person and injuring 83.
In December 1999, there was a natural gas explosion which completely destroyed one house and severely damaged four other houses in Larkhall, South Lanarkshire. It killed the family of four that lived in the house that exploded. Transco Gas who are responsible for maintaining the Gas Network were fined £15 million as the cause was found to be a severely corroded gas main directly outside the house.
August 19, 2000, a natural gas transmission pipeline ruptured and a fire killed 12 campers near Carlsbad, New Mexico.
On January 17, 2001, natural gas stored underground in Hutchinson, Kansas, leaked into empty brine caverns. Two explosions resulted from the leak. One destroyed two businesses and damaged 26 others. Another destroyed a trailer park killing two people. Sinkholes and gas leaks formed all around the city and the gas had to be slowly burned off.
On May 11, 2004, the Stockline Plastics Factory in the Maryhill area of Glasgow was destroyed by a gas explosion. The cause was found by a Health and Safety Executive report to be the ignition of gas from a ruptured pipe. Nine people were killed and 37 were injured, 15 seriously.
Richmond Hill explosion: a natural gas explosion in the Richmond Hill neighborhood of southern Indianapolis took place on Saturday, November 10, 2012. Two people were killed and about 20 people were injured. The blast caused $4.4 million in damage and 33 homes were damaged severely enough that they needed to be demolished. The explosion was large enough that it registered on IUPUI seismic detectors and was felt for miles. Four people, including the home owner, were charged with felony murder. Prosecutors allege they intentionally caused the explosion for insurance money.
On November 23, 2012, in Springfield, Massachusetts, a natural gas explosion destroyed two buildings, including one housing a strip club, damaging a total of 42 buildings. Firefighters, police officers and gas company workers were in the area because of an earlier gas leak. The explosion injured a total of 21 people, including 12 of the firefighters that responded to the gas leak. Astonishingly, there were no deaths relating to the explosion.
On September 15, 2015, in Pennsville, New Jersey, a main gas line explosion and subsequent fast-moving fire destroyed a modified house building, with a second-story apartment. The building was used as the Law Offices of John Jordan. Kline Construction, a South Jersey Gas Company contractor, was performing work in the area as part of a gas main and renewal project. South Jersey Gas is a natural gas company that serves Salem County, New Jersey, and also has offices in Atlantic County, New Jersey, and Gloucester County, New Jersey. Workers from Kline punctured a gas main nearby causing a gas leak into the basement of the building. As the building's heat source was natural gas, there was a heater with a pilot light in the basement. As the gas built up, the heater's pilot light became the ignition source of the explosion. A year later the company was fined US$300,000 by the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities after their investigation found multiple safety violations. No one was injured in the blast or fire. However, the neighboring homes suffered smoke and structural damage as a result.
On 3 June 2016, there was a gas explosion in the Dutch city of Urk. Three houses were completely destroyed, and three people were wounded.
On July 3, 2016, a natural gas explosion occurred in the city of Melvindale, Michigan when a car crashed through a fence at and hit a large natural gas line. Two buildings in the facility's complex caught fire as a result of the explosion - but no injuries were reported at the facility.
On August 10, 2016, a gas explosion occurred at an apartment building in Silver Spring, Maryland. The explosion killed 7 and injured more than 40 people.
2016 Portland gas explosion – On October 2, 2016, a series of gas explosions occurred in Portland, Oregon from a construction accident caused by Loy Clark Pipelines who was installing a vault in the sidewalk for Comcast for a new building being built for Portland based Bremik Construction. Eight people were injured, one pet cat had gone missing, one building totally leveled and $17.2 million (USD) in damage was done to nearby buildings.
On July 2, 2017, a gas leak at a home in Manor Township, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, caused the death of a gas company employee. Three other people were injured.
On July 10, 2018, a miscommunication between contractors boring a hole for fiber optic cables led to a gas leak and subsequent explosion in Sun Prairie, Wisconsin. One person was killed, eleven were injured and half of a city block was destroyed.
On July 6, 2019, around 20 people were injured, two seriously, by an apparent gas explosion at The Fountains shopping plaza in Plantation, Florida, which caused extensive damage to it and surrounding buildings.
On July 19, 2019 a gas explosion destroyed a house in Christchurch, New Zealand, and damaged surrounding houses. 6 people were injured.
On December 6, 2019, a gas explosion occurred in block of flats in Prešov, Slovakia, pressure wave damaged windows of surrounding buildings. 7 people were killed, and at least 40 people were injured.
On August 10, 2020 a gas explosion occurred in Baltimore, Maryland, killing 1 woman and critically injuring two others. At least 5 others were trapped under the rubble of three rowhouses which collapsed in the blast.
On May 6, 2022 the Hotel Saratoga explosion kills 45 people and injures 97 others in Havana, Cuba. The explosion originated from a leak in a gas tanker that was parked outside the hotel.
On June 26th, 2022 a house in Birmingham was destroyed and several other cars and homes were damaged. A woman died and a man was left injured. The listing for the home stated that the boiler required repair.
↑ Rinehart, Jack; Monet, Ebone (12 November 2012). "36 homes critically damaged in explosion in south side neighborhood". The Indy Channel. No.Online Article. Archived from the original(News article and video) on 15 July 2014. Retrieved 6 July 2014. Thirty-six homes sustained critical damage in an explosion that killed two people on Indianapolis' south side, inspectors said. The explosion happened Saturday night at a home at 8349 Fieldfare Way in the Richmond Hill subdivision near Sherman Drive between County Line and Stop 11 roads.