Fire Causation Expert Witness Comments on Propane Tank Explosion


Fire Causation Safety Expert WitnessThis case involves a man who suffered severe burns from a propane tank explosion. At the time of the incident in question, the man was attempting to refill a number of propane tanks that were used for outdoor heating at a restaurant he owned. After getting the tanks filled by one of the employees at the tank company, he placed all of the tanks in the back of a rented box truck. When he returned to the truck, he smelled a strong odor of propane. He immediately opened the rear door of the box truck, at which point the propane tanks exploded. He suffered a number of serious injuries in the explosion, as well as extensive burns across his body. It was alleged that the tanks were improperly filled, secured, and fastened by the filling station.

Question(s) For Expert Witness

  • 1. Are you familiar with the proper safety protocols that should be taken when refilling propane tanks?
  • 2. Do you have knowledge of the dangers associated with improperly filling, fastening, and securing propane gas tanks?

Expert Witness Response E-008552

I have experience with the safety protocols and dangers involved with propane tanks, including the relevant codes. I am certified in gas and propane gas safety, and have dealt with various sizes of propane tanks. I am also familiar with state laws regarding propane tanks. Explosions like this should obviously never happen, and are usually caused by a lack of inspections or maintenance on the tanks themselves. This can cause dangerous leaks which can easily ignite if there is any source of ignition present.

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