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16 comments
Participant

Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 2

Cleveland, Ohio. LNG Fire & Explosion 1944.

01/25/2007 7:09 PM

Dear all,, I am researching Liquid Natural Gas (LNG). We are told that the Safety record is Good . I am told the first LNG Plant was built in West Virginia in 1912, in 1941 the first commercial LNG liquifaction plant was built in Cleveland Ohio. Three years later in 1944 the first major LNG explosion occurred, killing 128 people and devastating a large part of the city.

I would like to join in discussion about the way Lng spills behave on land & on water. As I am new to this Forum maybe you could refer me to a prior discussion or question that is relevant.

Sparkplug.

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Member

Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Texas
Posts: 5
#1

Re: Cleveland, Ohio. LNG Fire & Explosion 1944.

01/26/2007 9:27 AM

Ok, which topic would you like to cover? Spills on land? water? Cleveland? Each would take up its own thread.

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Participant

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#2
In reply to #1

Re: Cleveland, Ohio. LNG Fire & Explosion 1944.

01/26/2007 5:30 PM

Hi, Mr LNG & others,

Spills on land interest me to start with. The cleveland incident I believe happened due to Stainless Steel being in short supply (Wartime), embrittlement of the tank /welds that failed, then a release with little containment surrounding the spheres that contained the LNG. I suppose today ,with Full Containment Tanks , the spread on the ground could not happen as it did then; unless a pipe were to leak. What were the lessons learned from Cleveland.? Did the Lng get into sewers and travel away from the Plant; was that why the death toll was so high ?

Sparkplug.

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Location: Texas
Posts: 5
#8
In reply to #2

Re: Cleveland, Ohio. LNG Fire & Explosion 1944.

01/27/2007 7:51 PM

Yes, you are correct. There are several reasons for the Cleveland accident. There were 4 LNG tanks at the East Ohio Gas Company. The first three were spherical type tanks which had a band around the middle that carried the weight of the tank and its contents. Tank #4, was new and was a self-supporting type of tank. It was the new tank which failed. It was constructed of a lower Nickel content steel. Normal mechanical stress on the tank walls created a leak, which lead to failure of the outer carbon steel shell, causing the LNG tank to completely fail.

At Cleveland there was no dike or secondary containment system to hold the LNG. The LNG spilled out on to the ground and then began to spill on to Grdina Street then on to 61st and 62nd. The LNG vaporized quickly and formed a flammable gas cloud. The liquid LNG flowed into the gutters and then into the storm sewers. It was an unseasonably warm afternoon. Many of the homes had their windows and doors open. The natural gas entered the nearby homes. At some point the vapor cloud hit an ignition source and ignited. The gas inside the homes and the storm sewer ignited explosively, blowing manhole covers off and spreading the fire down 62nd st.

128 people died in the disaster.

I've marked the site on Wikimapia:

http://www.wikimapia.org/#y=41526090&x=-81649779&z=17&l=0&m=h&v=2&show=/1422430/upcoming/

Please visit and mark the site as accurate so it is permanently included in wikimapia.

And here is the wikipedia entry:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cleveland_East_Ohio_Gas_Explosion

I need to edit the wikipedia article. It notes that the second explosion destroyed the tank farm - untrue. It did destroy tank 3, but tanks 1 & 2 survived.

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#9
In reply to #2

Re: Cleveland, Ohio. LNG Fire & Explosion 1944.

01/27/2007 7:59 PM

After Cleveland, the Federal Government conducted a thorough investigation. This lead to a number of regulations and improved practices:

* LNG tanks, piping and other equipment that comes into contact with cryogenic liquids are now made of stainless or 9% nickel steel, which can handle the extreme cold temperatures

* All LNG storage must have a secondary containment system. This is either an earthen dike, or a reinforced concrete outer shell that can withstand cryogenic temperatures. The dike or secondary containment must be able to contain 120% of the volume of the LNG tank.

* LNG tanks have a setback distance from any occupied structure (homes, businesses, etc.). The setback is determined by a thermal and vapor exclusion zone.

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Power-User

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Location: Middleboro Massachusetts
Posts: 164
#12
In reply to #9

Re: Cleveland, Ohio. LNG Fire & Explosion 1944.

01/29/2007 10:26 AM

Interesting Mr. LNG. Containment would have been key here. As terrible as this incident was, we constantly adapt, making changes to the code that govern such installations, because of accidents like this. I'm sure this incident affected the use of containment, whether it was statewide or national and would appreciate your opinion on whether a code regarding containment was already in place, or this accident prompted it. I also appreciate your knowledge and insight of this accident, I found it very interesting.

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Member

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#14
In reply to #12

Re: Cleveland, Ohio. LNG Fire & Explosion 1944.

01/29/2007 2:43 PM

No, there were no codes in place. This was the first liquefied natural gas plant in the United States. Many of the codes and regulations we have now are a result of this accident.

I should also mention the Staten Island incident in 1973. Although no LNG was involved in the fire, this accident also changed the code. The tanks in Staten Island had concrete outer shells and an inner mylar lining. A fire started when workers accidently ignited solvents used in the repair process. The solvents set fire to the mylar lining, which resulted in an overpressure inside the tank, which raised and then collapsed the roof, killing all 37 workers inside.

This accident led to several design improvements. Combustable linings and insulation are no longer allowed in LNG storage tanks in the U.S. Roofs have upper and lower stops inserted to keep the roof in place. BTW - the LNG tanks are still there in Staten Island. here is a link: http://wikimapia.org/#y=40552157&x=-74224749&z=14&l=0&m=a&v=2

Another good source of LNG information is the U of Texas Center for Engineering Economics:

http://www.beg.utexas.edu/energyecon/lng/

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Power-User

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Location: Middleboro Massachusetts
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#15
In reply to #14

Re: Cleveland, Ohio. LNG Fire & Explosion 1944.

01/29/2007 11:22 PM

There have been two fires around here that have changed the fire codes nationally as well. Here are the two in New England, I'm sure you are familiar with that had the greatest impact to the code. Sorry although not LNG related, but the point of how some tragedies have affected national fire codes.

http://www.boston.com/photo_gallery/ri_fire/c1.htm

http://www.newcenturyfriends.net/station.html

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Guru

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Location: Sitting directly behind my keyboard in Albuquerque - USA
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Good Answers: 19
#3

Re: Cleveland, Ohio. LNG Fire & Explosion 1944.

01/27/2007 12:47 PM

Hi Sparkplug ! Nice name . . . I like it.

The first thing to know about a spill of LNG is you get rid of the "L". It flashes to vapor and you are left with the NG.

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#4
In reply to #3

Re: Cleveland, Ohio. LNG Fire & Explosion 1944.

01/27/2007 5:04 PM

Re "I like it": I agree, Get the "L" out of there!

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Anonymous Poster
#5

Re: Cleveland, Ohio. LNG Fire & Explosion 1944.

01/27/2007 5:12 PM

Considerable time and money was spent some 15 years ago in designing and operating a 'spill test facility' in Nevada (Federal DOE funds) to study just the question asked--how does LNG behave when spilled ground, and how does it behave when spilled on salt and fresh water.

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Commentator

Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: WV-USA
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#6
In reply to #5

Re: Cleveland, Ohio. LNG Fire & Explosion 1944.

01/27/2007 7:07 PM

Didn't the Air Force use propane or LNG bombs? It tended to seep downward into bunkers and then do its thing in the presence of a spark. - Ed

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Anonymous Poster
#7

Re: Cleveland, Ohio. LNG Fire & Explosion 1944.

01/27/2007 7:38 PM
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#10

Re: Cleveland, Ohio. LNG Fire & Explosion 1944.

01/29/2007 8:43 AM

You've come to the right place, sparkplug. Take a look at the following story on CR4:

October 20, 1944 - LNG Explosion Rocks Cleveland

Also, please note that the links within this story take you to the source materials.

Best,

Moose

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#11

Re: Cleveland, Ohio. LNG Fire & Explosion 1944.

01/29/2007 9:16 AM

Here's a politically motivated LNG information site. There's a lot of good information there, though somewhat incomplete in listing the LNG disasters. There was no mention of the Paris, France Tank Truck explosion near a beach. I'm still looking for a reference.

http://timrileylaw.com/LNG_TANKERS.htm

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Member

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Location: Texas
Posts: 5
#13
In reply to #11

Re: Cleveland, Ohio. LNG Fire & Explosion 1944.

01/29/2007 2:07 PM

Mr. Riley is a personal injury lawyer in Oxnard, California who is very anti-LNG. He has taken up LNG opposition as a cause-celeb because BHP Billiton wants to put a floating facility 14 miles offshore. Mr. Riley's site is replete with inaccuracies and exaggerations.

Jeff Beale has done a nice job refuting some of the claims Mr. Riley makes. Here is a link:

http://www.aessparrowspointlng.com/

I'm not advocating for AES, just the link to Jeff's work.

Jeff is a good source for all things LNG and has been in this business for nearly 30 years. He is a very good engineer. His own site has a lot of accurate information on LNG:

http://www.ch-iv.com/ Click on the link to LNG Information. He has updated the site and taken down a lot of the information that used to be there. But there is still a good overview.

The Paris incident was an LPG (propane-butane) truck explosion. I would also note that the European standards for road tankers are not as robust as the US standards.

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Active Contributor

Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: ALGERIA
Posts: 11
#16

Re: Cleveland, Ohio. LNG Fire & Explosion 1944.

03/06/2007 3:34 AM

Hi evebody,

This discussion is very interresting I'd like to take part

I work in an LNG plant in ALGERIA exactly in SKIKDA were a disaster happened in 19/01/2004. According to investigation; the explosion which killed 29 persons was to due to a spillage of almost 19 m3 of LNG, because of a leak in a 8'' LNG pipe. A Witnesses said that in few minutes LNG vapors covered a large area. It's not surprizing when we know that LNG expands to 600 times when vaporized. Someone said he thought it was fog. But suprizingly the vapors didn't go upward immediately but travelled a long distance on ground. because the NG is lighter than air we imagine that vaporized LNG goes upward, but it didn't happen like that.

Another story happened several years ago in the loading platfom when a loading arm failed and LNG had come in contact of seawater. A colleague told me that noisy explosions happened with a release of huge quantities of vapors.

Regards

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Users who posted comments:

Anonymous Poster (2); bouzid kamel (1); Cardio07 (1); EJay (1); HerbVic (1); Mr_LNG (5); PetroPower (1); sparkplug (1); Steve Melito (1); TLGEngrCo (2)

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