September 11, 2013
Explosion at Surrey construction site
Firefighters are investigating the cause of an explosion that damaged a piece of equipment this morning at a construction site and shook nearby homes in Surrey, B.C.
“The blast was felt some ways away and it blew the soffit out of a house about 100 yards way,” said Joe DeLuca, assistant chief of operations with the Surrey Fire Service. “There was no damage, just a lot of shaking of buildings. The blast of the impact also broke the windows on an excavator that was about 40 feet away.”
The blast happened at King George Boulevard near 62nd Avenue at about 8 a.m. There were no injuries and no one was sent to hospital.
Deluca said the explosion was caused by a gas station fuel container that was buried underground. The gas station is no longer in operation. So, as part of the deconstruction, a contractor is taking the tank out of the ground.
An excavation had been undertaken to expose and uncover the tank, but it was still buried.
“They were trying to make the first cuts for vent holes at one end of the tank with a blow torch and ignited a flammable vapour mixture inside the 10,000 gallon tank,” said DeLuca. There is a weaker end of the tank. This de-seamed and blew off at the bank end of the tank, which is opposite to where they were cutting. This explains why the fellow was uninjured. But, he was visibly shaken.”
The worker was attempting to cut the tank into pieces for removal.
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