View Full Version : ot: shop explosion

11-08-2012, 07:40 PM
15,000 liters of acetone. We heard the explosion many miles around. The shop is totally destroyed. 18 workers badly burned. The shop is Neptune industries. They made krill oil for pharmaceutical use

11-08-2012, 07:46 PM
What's the location?

11-08-2012, 07:48 PM
Sherbrooke Quebec

11-08-2012, 07:58 PM
Industrial explosion injures 17 in Sherbrooke, Que. (http://cnews.canoe.ca/CNEWS/Canada/2012/11/08/20341921.html)


11-08-2012, 08:01 PM
"Officials said a fire ignited 15,000 litres of acetone, a common ingredient in cleaning agents and paint thinners. "

I think the circumstances may have been more complex than suggested above

Acetone (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Acetone) (Wikipedia)

At temperatures greater than acetone's flash point of −20 C (−4 F), air mixtures of between 2.5% and 12.8%
acetone, by volume, may explode or cause a flash fire. Vapors can flow along surfaces to distant ignition sources
and flash back. Static discharge may also ignite acetone vapors. Acetone has, however very high ignition initiation
energy point, so accidental ignition is rare. Even pouring or spraying acetone over red-glowing coal will not ignite it,
due to the high concentration of vapour and the cooling effect of evaporation of the liquid.[20] It auto-ignites at
465 C (869 F). Autoignition temperature is also dependent upon the exposure time, thus at some tests it is
quoted as 525C. Also, industrial acetone is likely to contain small amount of water which also inhibits ignition.

11-08-2012, 08:40 PM
Good interesting post Eddy.

Dr Stan
11-08-2012, 09:24 PM
That's just awful. A uncle of mine was burned 2nd & 3rd degree over virtually 100% of his body in a steel mill accident as he was wearing polyester thermal underwear at the time. By all rights he should have died, but pulled through. Recovered, but was disabled for the remainder of his life.

One of the reasons I'm a "Safety Nazi".

11-08-2012, 09:49 PM
Sherbrooke Quebec

If this is their Sherbrooke address, then it looks like the plant is just a few
blocks west and north of large tracts of residential housing

795 Rue Ppin Sherbrooke, QC. (http://maps.google.ca/maps?q=795+Rue+P%C3%A9pin+Sherbrooke,+QC,&hl=en&ie=UTF8&sll=45.387179,-71.970491&sspn=0.005975,0.010933&t=h&hnear=795+Rue+P%C3%A9pin,+Sherbrooke,+Qu%C3%A9bec+ J1L+2E9&z=16) (Google Maps view)

Corporate web site:

Neptune Technologies and Bioressources Inc. (http://www.neptunebiotech.com/)

11-08-2012, 10:20 PM
Lather tonight they found 2 dead man and a survivor under the debris. Really bad news. I know one of them

11-08-2012, 11:11 PM
I get there is always risk involved but maybe its time to really examine storage and methodology of transferring fuels or similar. Esp quite close to residential areas.

From Winnipeg, a bit more than a month ago: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QP02c9hTADQ&feature=related
fuel plant, including bio diesel and methanol

11-09-2012, 12:15 AM
I use acetone, lacquer thinner, alcohol and other solvents and paints nearly every day. It's easy to get lazy around flammable liquids but this is one area I follow common and safety sense to the tee. The same goes for the strong acids and alkalies used in the plating shed or for paint stripping. You have to remain safety conscience all the time and know that your health depends on it. The same goes for working around machinery.

A.K. Boomer
11-09-2012, 08:16 AM
Lather tonight they found 2 dead man and a survivor under the debris. Really bad news. I know one of them

Sorry to hear and it makes it all the worse when it's that close to home, what a terrible accident.

Lets hope the guy you know makes it and is not badly burned - best wishes to our friends to the north.

11-09-2012, 02:11 PM
In Omaha, some guys were storing 5 gallon cans of gasoline in the basement of their house and one spilled/broke and was ignited by the pilot light of the water heater. Three guys were badly burned--two died and the other is in the burn unit in bad shape.

Never store gas in the house.

11-09-2012, 02:50 PM
Don't store it in the garage either if it is attached. Best is to store it in an entirely dedicated small shed designed for the purpose. That is what I do. I know that not everybody has the room to do it but even just outside the garage with some space is a much safer proposition. The shed has slats for a floor and venting at the top edge under the roof so that any leakage can evaporate and dissipate.

This is where I store any volatiles larger than a spray can and all propane regardless of size. I never use low flash point materials such as acetone in the house. They are used in the garage shop and if the quantity is more than a dab on a rag the shop doors are open. They are 5' x 8' each so that provides adequate ventilation. We are pretty paranoid about any kind of fire hazard since we have no fire department out here.


Dr Stan
11-09-2012, 07:22 PM
Don't store it in the garage either if it is attached. Best is to store it in an entirely dedicated small shed designed for the purpose.

Amen to that. I have a 8 X 12 shed dedicated to the lawn mowers and all flammables. Don't want any of that stored in the garage or the shop.

11-11-2012, 09:37 AM
[QUOTE=CCWKen;807417It's easy to get lazy around flammable liquids[/QUOTE]

Its hard to find a flammable liquid that isn't really hard on your liver. Assuming you're not wearing an organic rated respirator 24x7, if you're doin' it right WRT your liver, you're doin' it right WRT fire danger. Or rephrased if you're careful enough not to get fried, you need to be a little more careful yet, to avoid cancer. Ventilating to a level beyond needed for fire safety is probably just a good start WRT liver safety.