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Joined: Oct 1999
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Marty Offline OP
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A man suffered a terrible accidental death this afternoon in San Pedro - and the accident underscores the hazards of filling tanks with gasses.

The San Pedro Sun reports that around 4:45 pm, well known tour guide Hector Chapin Duran was fatally injured when the scuba tank he was filling ruptured - causing a major explosion which punctured his midsection and caused instant death. It happened at the Amigos Del Mar Dock.

The San Pedro Sun has photographs of the ruptured tank - and you can see that an entire section is blown off. It is too early to know what caused the tank to rupture.

His body was removed from the pier after five and brought into the city on an amigos Del Mar vessel just before the news started. Ideally scuba tanks should be regularly checked for integrity of their structure as they grow thin form repeated use.

Channel 7


Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 84,400
Marty Offline OP
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Tragic accident inside tank compression unit leaves 1 man dead

The community of San Pedro is in shock after a well known tour guide died during a very unfortunate accident. Shorty around 4:30PM there was a resounding explosion on Amigos Del Mar dock in San Pedro Town. The explosion claimed the life Hector "Chapin" Duran.

Both San Pedro Police and Fire personnel responded immediately, but there was nothing much that could have been done. According to witnesses, the explosion came from inside a partially enclosed area on the far eastern end of the dock. The explosion was apparently caused after a tank filled with compressed oxygen blew up and fatally injured Duran, who was servicing the air tanks.

Click here to read the rest of the article an more photos in the San Pedro Sun


Joined: Mar 2006
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JZB Offline
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How tragic. I can't imagine how his family must be dealing with this sudden loss. My Sympathies to them. frown

Joined: Jun 2008
Posts: 2,000
R
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R
Yes it was tragic, people walk by boilers; air compressors and other pressurised vessels and do not realize the energy stored in them can be deadly.

This type of accident used to be quite common and as a result in most countries procedures and checks were put in place to try to prevent them.



Jim
Formerly from somewhere on a beach in Belize
Joined: Mar 2003
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I was walking past Blue Tang Hotel (1/4 mile away?) when this happened and felt the shockwave. My Dog bolted and my first thought was to look to the sky for smoke to see if one of the Butane Tanks at E&L had gone up. It was that powerful. Look at the thickness of the tank and imagine.

A friend of mine that used to own a Dive Shop and had a compressor here was always concerned about this and once showed me an aftermath video of a similar incidence and the whole building was flattened. So as tragic as this was it could also have been a lot worse on a very busy dock.

Joined: Feb 2009
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This is very sad and I wonder how often the tanks are hydroed in Belize. I too have seen what damage they can cause when they explode. Blew out the back end of a 60's car and flattened a concrete wall next to it.


Reality is only an illusion that occurs due to a lack of alcohol
Joined: Jun 2008
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I have seen pressure vessels relocated several hundred feet from an explosion with terrible property damage and injury. For about 8 years I investigated accidents of this sort.

Hydro and internal inspection of the vessel is important but there is more to it than that. The thickness of the metal is determined partly by the material it is manufactured from; by the pressure it was designed to carry and the physical size of the vessel. This is standard in the industry and unless a vessel is homemade, which I have seen, but rarely that part of the equation was probably OK. The first place I would look is at the safety relief valve both on the pressure vessel and the filling station piping which was pictured. Hopefully they did exist.

Now a day we use an ultra-sonic method of measuring the wall and head thickness of these vessels and it is quite accurate but of course you have to be versed in the equipment. With this you can detect corrosion, pitting and thinning of the metal.

Of course everything I stated here is in general terms and as a matter of fact O2, Acetylene, diving and other special use vessels fell under a different set of regulations and regulators than I worked on. Basically though a pressure vessel is a pressure vessel regardless of the gas.


Jim
Formerly from somewhere on a beach in Belize
Joined: May 2005
Posts: 210
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So sad.
Sympathies to Hector's family and friends


Colin, Marianne & Sophie the Dog
www.mrptny.com
Joined: Jul 2008
Posts: 1,206
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Wish I had taken a photo of the pickup truck we just passed cruising around with 4-5 loose H cylinder tanks flailing about in the back. I shudder to think about the potential consequences.....

Joined: Nov 2004
Posts: 1,828
Hon Offline
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This is horrible! Sincere wishes for peace for all who knew and loved Hector.


Newfoundlanders are the only people in heaven who want to go home.
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