Albini leased two 100-pound propane cylinders and drove home with the cylinders in the bed of his pickup truck. After he returned home, one of the cylinders began releasing propane and making a hissing noise. When Albini went to investigate the hissing sound, the propane cloud suddenly ignited, engulfing him and burning the skin off more than 80 percent of his body.
The lawsuit that arose from the incident alleged that the propane provider was responsible for overfilling the cylinders, failure to provide proper training to the employee who did the filling, failure to inspect the cylinders for certification and failure to prevent the customer from transporting the cylinders horizontally. The California company that sold the propane to Albini settled the wrongful death lawsuit for $4.5 million.
DOT regulations state the following: 49 CFR 173.301 (f) (2) After December 31, 2003, a pressure relief device, when installed, must be in communication with the vapor space of a cylinder containing a Division 2.1 (flammable gas) material. Says Dodd, “Very simply, we don’t lay down LPG cylinders unless they are designed to do so, i.e. forklift cylinders, but only when positioned so the safety is on the up side. That is the purpose of the indexing pin and hole on the forklift and the cylinder.”
To view Dodd’s recommendations regarding the incident, read “Propane Cylinder Fire” (http://www.weldingandgasestoday.org/
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