Gas explosion in a tent

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Gas explosion in a tent

Post  Guest on Thu May 05, 2011 7:33 am

Gday

Yesterday there was a disturbing accident at one of our local caravan parks, and a very well liked 16 year old boy was killed and his father and young 13 yr old sister left fighting for life with serious burns, after what they believe was an explosion inside a tent caused by a leaking gas bottle.

My condolences to all concerned, family and friends, and my heart goes out to this father and his daughter and I hope that they will survive.

For me it is a timely reminder that we need to be vigilant with gas and other flammable liquids, and thats its too easy to become complacent about checking bottle use by dates and things like the condition of regulators, hoses and connections.

During the news broadcast of the incident they showed the burnt remains of the tent and I saw what I thought may have been a 3 way fridge, and it brought to mind that these fridges use a small flame to operate when running on gas, if this is the case and you have the fridge running in the tent with a leaking gas bottle then you will have an explosion, I may be wrong but thats the way it has appeared to me.

I have and healthy respect for gas bottles for some time after seeing one catch fire, so I try to avoid using the camping kind of gas stove, with the big gas bottle in favour of the type that uses the cannisters, as I think even though the cannisters can explode and cause injury there is a lot less gas so the damage would be less severe, but even these need to be used with caution and proper ventilation, they are also more easily stored than the bigger bottle, in an external tool box or something, safe and out of the way.

When away with the camper trailer during the cold months and staying at a caravan park I always take a small oil filled electric heater that we can run inside the camper tent, its not excessively hot and just takes the nip out of the air, but I believe it to be a much safer way, also if you have power available then there are some really good electric grills, electric kettles etc, available that are far safer to use under cover and then you dont need to use the gas as much.

Dont take chances, and think about what can happen.

cheers

stayyerAU






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Re: Gas explosion in a tent

Post  Guest on Thu May 05, 2011 9:40 am

Another reason not to use a 3 way-gas fridge in a tent is that if the tent is sealed, you will not live till morning. The gas burns up all the oxygen in the tent and leaves carbon monoxide. Some old caravans were notorious for this. Thats why there are so many regulations covering venting in the doors and around the fridge.

P

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Re: Gas explosion in a tent

Post  Guest on Thu May 05, 2011 9:59 am


Gday

I have just learnt that the father and younger sister have both passed away overnight.

stayyerAU

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Re: Gas explosion in a tent

Post  Guest on Thu May 05, 2011 10:11 am

what a terrible tragedy.

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Re: Gas Explosion in a Tent.

Post  sandy2010 on Thu May 05, 2011 11:05 am

Good post re: safety checks stayyer.....I have an old prospectors caravan...the old fridge "spat the dummy" so I bought a second hand replacement(3 way) and called in a licenced installer....he told me the gas bottle regulator was not legal nor the 2 gas taps.....I was also going to fit a camping stove in the 'van( it is like new )....he told me that is also illegal also !........I had to pay $370 for it all to be sorted and get a certificate of approval, at least now I feel more comfortable and it meets insurance requirements.

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Re: Gas explosion in a tent

Post  Guest on Thu May 05, 2011 11:30 am

OMG! that is terrible news my heart goes out to those left to grieve Sad

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Post  cranky on Thu May 05, 2011 1:35 pm

What a terrible outcome for any family, my sympathies to the greater family.

LPG is often used in a careless fashion, probably due to a lack of knowledge of its characteristics.

Little known is the fact that LPG boils at -42C, 1litre of liquid LPG will expand to 270 times that volume as a vapour.

So squirt liquid LPG onto your skin for a severe attack of frost bite, possibly leading to the loss of a body part from destroying the tissue.

Mix the vapour (270litres of it) with air in the ratios from 12.5 parts air to 1 part LPG out to around 19 parts air to 1 part LPG to produce an almighty BANG when ignited (12.5:1 - 19:1 for the enlightened)

This would make the disposable LPG canister a pretty powerfull grenade if exposed to direct heat.

I have a fair amount of experience with LPG and always treat it with respect....if this fuel was better understood by the general public there would be fewer accidents.....ignorance is not always bliss!

Note also Propane (cooking stove fuel) and Propane/Butane Blend (Automotive LPG) are two very different fuels, and should not be interchanged ......straight Propane makes a lousy automotive fuel for various reasons......Autogas when burned in a cooking/heating application produces Carbonmonoxide Gas which is extremely dangerous causing brain damage / death, and as it cannot be detected by any smell catches many victims annually.

Just thought you may like to know.....regards Cranky
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Re: Gas explosion in a tent

Post  Narrawa on Thu May 05, 2011 2:12 pm

Condolences to the extended family.

While on the subject of gas, i thought id make mention of this potential threat.
Many times while out in the filed iv come back to camp only to find when putting the kettle on, this switch has been left on.


Be warned, it engages the mechanism that allows the gas to flow, a small bit of foreign matter obstructing the seal will allow the gas to settle in & around the cooker until you lite it.
Iv seen this first hand, and have a dummy spit at anyone in my camp if i find it left on.

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Re: Gas explosion in a tent

Post  Guest on Thu May 05, 2011 2:46 pm

SNAP Narrawa!! couldn't agree more -- you can have a can of gas no problem but I'LL boil your billy on MY stove !! do not use it yourself !! like you I have seen one of these things wumph!!into flame ---- Shocked

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Re: Gas explosion in a tent

Post  UNCLE BOB on Thu May 05, 2011 3:44 pm

Yes it is a terrible way to die and my condolences go out to the reletives, it's very heartbreaking news indeed. Sad Sad Sad
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Re: Gas explosion in a tent

Post  Billy on Thu May 05, 2011 4:12 pm

How terrible this is but if it only makes us think twice about what we are doing while using gas, fuel etc then some good may have come from it. Condolences to all involved.
I have only heard of one of these small camping stoves (like the one in Narrawa's photo) exploding and it happened to one of the members of a local 4wd club here in Dubbo. The person involved was not badly injured but did require a long trip from out bush to a hospital. The reason for the cannister explosion I believe was using a pot/frypan that was to big for the hob and it therefore covered the area above the cannister causing it to heat up and well the rest is history.
I use one myself and love the portability and the cheap cost of both the unit and the gas but am very wary of how hot things are getting and of the size of pots etc that I use on it.
Stay safe everyone.
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Re: Gas explosion in a tent

Post  Guest on Thu May 05, 2011 6:17 pm


Gday

As it turned out my wife and I drove past that very caravan park at about 8.30 yesterday morning and we saw a security guard parked at the top end of the park, I wondered what he was doing there at the time and then on going past the entry to the park there were quite a few camera and news people there, I had a bad feeling about it and kept going, it wasnt until later in the day when it was on the news that I learnt what had happened.

Apparently it happened at about 3 am and all three victims were asleep, they are still investigating the cause and there will probably be a bit more on the news tonight about it, they also said that they had been living there for only a week and that they had moved out of rental accomodation as the owner wanted to move back into the house, and they were in the park because of not being able to get a rental property in the area for some reason or another, as it was the last week of school holidays here this week I just thought that they were just here for a holiday as Mandurah is a well known holiday spot, and was not immediately aware that they were in fact locals.

It seems that they have had a run of bad luck even before this tragedy occured, you have to wonder why some people are dealt such bad cards in life dont you, but I know that if I were the father I would rather have gone with my children than to have to live without them.

cheers

stayyerAU








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Re: Gas explosion in a tent

Post  GoldstalkerGPX on Thu May 05, 2011 6:57 pm

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Last edited by GoldstalkerGPX on Sun Dec 04, 2011 12:31 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : pointless)
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Re: Gas explosion in a tent

Post  Ayounomad on Sat May 07, 2011 6:32 pm

G'day all , turns out this fire tragedy was caused by electric device/fault ...not a gas explosion as first thought . A deadly reminder of fires happening when asleep , whatever type of fire . Home , tent , caravan or car are all potential death traps ...We all think that we would wake up in time , but it isn't so ...Very sad episode indeed .... No
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Re: Gas explosion in a tent

Post  Justdigging on Sat May 07, 2011 11:01 pm

Not much more can be said but heart goes out to all , please please a simple smoke detector that does co2 detection , will be nothing more than $30 but will protect you against not only fire but heaters that take all the co2 out of the camper , you spend $ on camper insurance ,set some aside for you.
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Re: Gas explosion in a tent

Post  Billy on Sat May 07, 2011 11:53 pm

Justdigging wrote:Not much more can be said but heart goes out to all , please please a simple smoke detector that does co2 detection , will be nothing more than $30 but will protect you against not only fire but heaters that take all the co2 out of the camper , you spend $ on camper insurance ,set some aside for you.

Hey there Justdigging, know anywhere in NSW that sells these?
Could be money well spent.
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Re: Gas explosion in a tent

Post  Wombat on Sun May 08, 2011 10:32 am

In our new caravan there is a gas detector placed very close to the floor as LPG is 19 times heavier than air and will float to the floor if leaking. The device goes of just the same as a smoke detector.
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Re: Gas explosion in a tent

Post  andy-pippin on Sun May 08, 2011 4:11 pm

Such a tragic waste of life. My condolences to their extended family & friends.

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Post  cranky on Sun May 08, 2011 5:14 pm

Please read each post carefully......a misunderstanding could be serious, even fatal.

LPG - Propane is specifically supplied for heating / cooking purposes and not suited to Auto fuel.

LPG - Auto gas (Fuel)....Propane / butane blend specifically for automive use as alternative to Petrol.

Co2- Carbon Dioxide. Emmissions are not poisonous but are oxgen depleting when in a confined sealed space...Suffocation occurs. Otherwise is an essential part of the atmosphere.

Co - Carbon Monoxide...Odourless / Tasteless / Poisonous. Deadly in moderate quantities.

Co - Carbon Monoxide is present in the exhaust gases of an LPG Fuelled Motor Vehicle, it is an unwanted emmision that is minimised by the correct tuning of the engine to comply with preset standards, amateur mechanics should not tamper with Auto LPG installations.

Autogas fuel bowsers are signed to prohibit the filling of gas cylinders other than the fuel tank in the vehicle.......Autogas (Propane/butane blend) when burned in a cooking /heating application will produce Carbon Monoxide emmisions.

I once came across a Toyota Coaster mobile campervan where the owner had connected his cooking stove to the vehicle fuel supply, reckoned it was cheaper than buying the cooking gas!
When I tried to warn him of the risk his reply was B**locks I know what I'm doing, I aint stupid.
Thankfully he was the sole occupant of the vehicle, I wonder where he is now?

Remember that detector you need is a CARB0NMONOXIDE / Smoke Detector (carbon dioxide make trees grow we need it for survival)

Regards Cranky
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Re: Gas explosion in a tent

Post  GoldstalkerGPX on Sun May 08, 2011 5:33 pm

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Last edited by GoldstalkerGPX on Sun Dec 04, 2011 12:31 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : pointless)
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Re: Gas explosion in a tent

Post  Brickie on Sun Sep 11, 2011 4:18 pm

Ive seen this first hand.
A camper two up from us went and got take away for tea, he came back and lit his hurricane lamp inside the tent and BOOM.
His stove had been leaking and was inside his tent.
The heat melted bottles inside the tent all in one very small moment.
There was no tent to speak of, poor bugger was gray from burns he received.
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gas

Post  starry on Sun Sep 11, 2011 8:40 pm

what a tragedy but most people don,t realize how potent gas Is as stated in above poats ,I worked for Elgas for 8 years seen some nasty things happen to people who don,t understand or respect gas ,its a great fuel if respected Mick
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Re: Gas explosion in a tent

Post  Ismael on Sun Sep 11, 2011 11:38 pm

Check this out, a very good mate of mine went out for trip and his mates ute went up...


All his gear was inside. All they managed to save was his 4500 and that was crispy at one end and needs fixing. All he is left with are the clothes on his back. A gas bottle incident also. Just completely unknown as to how it happened. The extinguisher in the photo was totally useless against the gas bottle.

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Re: Gas explosion in a tent

Post  Inhere on Mon Sep 12, 2011 12:04 am

Well that is one way to stuff the day up Ismael!

Be interesting to know exactly how it happened.
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