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Capt. Ridley's Shooting Party
09-04-2008, 11:44 AM
Can anyone beat the Byford Dolphin diving bell incident (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Byford_Dolphin#Diving_bell_accident)?

:eek: :eek:

It's Not Rocket Surgery!
09-04-2008, 12:01 PM
Sure, if http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bhopal_disaster and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chernobyl_disaster count.

Duckster
09-04-2008, 12:13 PM
See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SL-1#The_accident

There are reports it wasn't an accident, but suicide.

Koxinga
09-04-2008, 12:25 PM
About the incident described in the OP, I found this a little odd:

Diver D4 was shot out through the small jammed hatch door opening, and was ripped apart. Subsequent investigation by forensic pathologists determined that diver D4, being exposed to the highest pressure gradient, violently exploded due to the rapid and massive expansion of internal gases. All of his thoracic and abdominal organs, and even his thoracic spine were ejected, as were all of his limbs. Simultaneously, his remains were expelled with force through the narrow trunk opening left by the jammed chamber door, less than 60 centimeters (24 inches) in diameter. Fragments of his body were found scattered about the rig. One part was even found lying on the rig’s derrick, 10 meters (30 feet) directly above the chambers.

But compare this with widespread debunking of the urban legend that astronauts exposed to space would explode or blow up like balloons. Would decompression in the above mentioned case be even more violent than being exposed to space?

matt_mcl
09-04-2008, 12:33 PM
But compare this with widespread debunking of the urban legend that astronauts exposed to space would explode or blow up like balloons. Would decompression in the above mentioned case be even more violent than being exposed to space?

I don't see why not. They were going from 9 atmospheres to 1 atmosphere, rather than 1 atmosphere to 0 atmospheres.

The Great Sun Jester
09-04-2008, 12:35 PM
Would decompression in the above mentioned case be even more violent than being exposed to space? :mad:

ChiefScott
09-04-2008, 12:40 PM
Didja ever read Upton Sinclair's The Jungle?

Koxinga
09-04-2008, 12:41 PM
Does anyone else find the title of the OP reminiscent of a show on Fox?

wolfman
09-04-2008, 01:03 PM
Speaking of things of Fox :)

Leela: Depth at 45 hundred feet, 48 hundred, 50 hundred! 5000 feet!

Professor: Dear Lord, that's over 150 atmospheres of pressure.

Fry: How many atmospheres can this ship withstand?

Professor: Well it's a spaceship, so I'd say anywhere between zero and one.

Capt. Ridley's Shooting Party
09-04-2008, 01:52 PM
Does anyone else find the title of the OP reminiscent of a show on Fox?

Kind of my intent ;)

Zebra
09-04-2008, 01:58 PM
See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SL-1#The_accident

There are reports it wasn't an accident, but suicide.



http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USS_Iowa_(BB-61)#1989_Turret_Explosion


There are reports that this was an accident and not a suicide.

mnemosyne
09-04-2008, 04:21 PM
A recent event: Toronto Propane Explosions (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2008_Toronto_explosions)

There's a show starting on the Discovery channel this week (I think) called Shockwave, which seems to be about explosions and other similar events with huge effects/repercussions. Looks interesting, if I ever pay attention to when it's supposed to air and watch it!

Swallowed My Cellphone
09-04-2008, 04:42 PM
How about the Boston Molasses Disaster (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boston_Molasses_Disaster)? A wave of molasses poured through the streets killing 21 and injuring 150.

I mean, it's shocking because you don't think that molasses can flow so fast or do what it did: "The molasses wave was of sufficient force to break the girders of the adjacent Boston Elevated Railway's Atlantic Avenue structure and lift a train off the tracks.

:eek:

Not as freaky as decompression that makes you explode though.

postcards
09-04-2008, 05:36 PM
The Halifax Explosion (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Halifax_Explosion)

Asimovian
09-04-2008, 07:00 PM
This (http://chemaxx.com/explosion1.htm) is the first thing that came to mind. One of my favorite videos of all time -- I just wish no one had died in the process.

ETA: Better video link here (http://youtube.com/watch?v=t8HcQ1Va6RY). If I recall correctly, the second explosion registered a 3.3 on the Richter Scale.

Tabula Rasa
09-04-2008, 07:38 PM
How about the Boston Molasses Disaster (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boston_Molasses_Disaster)? A wave of molasses poured through the streets killing 21 and injuring 150.

I mean, it's shocking because you don't think that molasses can flow so fast or do what it did: "The molasses wave was of sufficient force to break the girders of the adjacent Boston Elevated Railway's Atlantic Avenue structure and lift a train off the tracks.

:eek:

Not as freaky as decompression that makes you explode though.

Not just molasses, but _molasses in January_!!

picunurse
09-04-2008, 10:40 PM
Here is a list of significant disasters (http://easternct.edu/depts/amerst/disasters.htm)

My first thought was the Texas City disaster (http://essortment.com/all/texascityexplo_rkvi.htm) in 1947. On April 16, 1947 the town of Texas City had 16,000 registered inhabitants but by the time the last body was found a month later, six hundred were known dead. The exact number will never be known as many of the victims were incinerated in the blast and there were no remains to be found.


Or the Galveston hurricane of 1900 (http://disastercenter.com/texas/1900GH.htm) that killed more than 8000 people.

freckafree
09-04-2008, 11:02 PM
I can't find a link to this, because I can't remember enough of the details to google one, although perhaps another NE Ohio Doper can. It happened in the Akron area.

It only affected one person, but it was plenty shocking. A young man was pulled into some sort of industrial shredding machinery. I believe his brother was the one who finally shut the machine off and/or freed him. What the newspapers reported was that he lost everything "from the navel down."

It's amazing that he didn't die of shock immediately from such a horrific injury. It's amazing that he survived all the surgeries. But he's alive today.

Scarlett67
09-04-2008, 11:44 PM
I can't find a link to this, because I can't remember enough of the details to google one, although perhaps another NE Ohio Doper can. It happened in the Akron area.

It only affected one person, but it was plenty shocking. A young man was pulled into some sort of industrial shredding machinery. I believe his brother was the one who finally shut the machine off and/or freed him. What the newspapers reported was that he lost everything "from the navel down."

It's amazing that he didn't die of shock immediately from such a horrific injury. It's amazing that he survived all the surgeries. But he's alive today.

I'm not a NE Ohio Doper, but I Googled "Akron brother 'navel down' " and found this:
http://forums.ebay.com/db2/thread.jspa?threadID=1000198512 (Yes, really, it's an article about this guy. Why on eBay, I have no idea.)

Probably some better links out there (I had trouble with the Akron newspaper archives, but maybe someone else can tease out a link or two).

freckafree
09-05-2008, 12:21 AM
I'm not a NE Ohio Doper, but I Googled "Akron brother 'navel down' " and found this:
http://forums.ebay.com/db2/thread.jspa?threadID=1000198512 (Yes, really, it's an article about this guy. Why on eBay, I have no idea.).

I tried a lot of keywords, but not that combo. I bow to your superior Google-foo.

I don't know why it's on eBay either. What's reported is quite a Glurge-fest, though.

Hippy Hollow
09-05-2008, 12:24 AM
Those are pretty shocking, all. But how about the Nedelin catastrophe (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nedelin_catastrophe)? Bad stuff, man.

groman
09-05-2008, 02:00 AM
It doesn't seem anybody mentioned the recent molten steel incident in China (http://timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/article1671455.ece), but I would say that's pretty terrifying.

The mishap was triggered when a 30-tonne-capacity steel ladle sheared off from the blast furnace, spilling liquid metal onto the factory floor three metres below.

The molten steel engulfed an adjacent room where workers had gathered for a routine shift change, the State Work Safety Administration said.

Baron Greenback
09-05-2008, 03:58 AM
I reckon this counts as an industrial disaster:

Aberfan (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aberfan)

si_blakely
09-05-2008, 04:15 AM
But compare this with widespread debunking of the urban legend that astronauts exposed to space would explode or blow up like balloons. Would decompression in the above mentioned case be even more violent than being exposed to space?In addition to the aforementioned 8 atm differential, the situation was that D4 was sucked through a small hatch propelled by the volume of air within the decompression system. If his body blocked the hatch, it could well have created a pressure wave (fluid hammer) that increased the pressure on his body by considerably more than 8 atm. These effects are what ripped his body apart, not the decompression per se.

A similar fluid hammer effect is theorised for the Aloha Airlines flight 243 incident. The plane suffered a decompression incident due to galvanic corrosion, but a huge area of the plane blew out. The theory is that a small hole (10"x10") constrained by anti-rip material was blocked by the body of a stewardess, creating a fluid hammer that tore the plane almost in half and blew out a row of seats.

I am interested in the theory that the fats in the blood vessels were caused by boiling... It is suggested that the boiling of the blood denatured the lipoprotein complexes, rendering the lipids insoluble.The temperature of the blood did not change - just the pressure (although it may have "boiled" loosing water and dissolved gas content) - so how did the lipoproteins denature at body temperature? Remember that water boiled at altitude is cooler than 100C due to the lower pressure.

Si

Bosda Di'Chi of Tricor
09-05-2008, 08:13 AM
And then, we get into sweet & sticky nightmares.

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

PapSett
09-05-2008, 09:09 AM
Not large scale by any means, but still... one of the most horrific ways *I* can imagine to die:

Several years ago at a Tyson chicken factory in Knetucky (near me), a man slipped and fell into a gian vat of chicken guts and went under. A friend tried to rescue him. They both drowned in chicken guts. >shudder<

One I actually WITNESSED... I was working in a factory that made ping pong tables, among other gaming equipment, and they had... ah hem... less than admirable safety conditions.

One night we heard a blood-curdling scream... a woman from the next department came staggering toward us, and it took a moment for it to register exactly what I was seeing. It looked like her face was... melting.

She had been working over a fast moving conveyer belt, and the company had removed the safety guard so she could get in closer to it. She had her long hair tied back in a ponytail, but as she leaned over, it fell forward, over her shoulder, and was caught in the belt.

It literally scalped her, ripping the skin off her skull. The reason it looked like her face was melting... there was nothing to hold it up. The forman sent another worker back to dig hair and scalp out of the conveyer, and he carried it past us in a plastic bag, dripping with blood. She was life-flighted to Louisville, but they were unable to reattach her scalp. I didn't work there much longer (Wonder why???) so I never heard what happened to her. I have often wondered...

Harmonious Discord
09-05-2008, 09:16 AM
I know somebody whose father in law went under an engaged mower. Luckily no pictures or crappy media attention occurred. The mower went over the whole body.

My uncle was in a coal dust explosion. I don't know how he lived through that. He had almost all his skin burned. That story was in a national magazine when it occurred. He was married for a couple years, young and a outdoor sportsman. He found out his wife was pregnant after he become coherent again months later. They had the new baby in the house before the anniversary of the accident. I don't know how you care for a new born and a burn victim at the same time. He was covered in bandages for years and had surgeries for years. You never forget the people that are screaming, when they are not unconscious. Think of having your raw skin brushed to remove the dead stuff.

I know somebody that fell over a work barrier for an elevator shaft while on a ladder. He just missed landing on bolts that stuck up out of the floor of the concrete. They put him back together over six months. He's truly fucked up. Did you know OSHA doesn't investigate the work site unless two people are injured? He didn't have needed evidence, because he didn't start finding this out until six months later after getting out of the hospital.

How do you qualify the worst industrial disasters?
By the number of injured?
By the cost of care after the injury?
By the number of dollars they won't earn during their life?
By the pain and emotional trauma inflicted during their life because of the accident?
By the amount of lost product for the company?
By the lost capital of the company?
By the lost lives of people that died because they didn't have the product?

I don't think it's possible to say a certain industrial accident is the worst one to ever happen. It covers too much for such a small question.

Mangetout
09-05-2008, 09:45 AM
But the question is which is the most shocking - not necessarily the worst in terms of casualties, cost or destruction of property etc. I think it's more about which ones were the most horrific in what they did to the people involved.

Zsofia
09-05-2008, 09:51 AM
But the question is which is the most shocking - not necessarily the worst in terms of casualties, cost or destruction of property etc. I think it's more about which ones were the most horrific in what they did to the people involved.

I ran into that diving bell thing in Wikipedia a few months ago and it's stuck in my head nastily ever since - I'd say that's definitely in the running for "most shocking". The Triangle Shirtwaist Fire seems sort of sanitized by history, but I've read some first person accounts by people in the street hearing the women jumping go "SCREAM...THUMP" that kind of bring back the horror of the thing.

OtakuLoki
09-05-2008, 10:05 AM
For me one of the most personally shocking industrial accidents was the USS Iwo Jima steam line rupture (http://dcfp.navy.mil/mc/museum/IWOJIMA/IwoJima1.htm). I was active duty at the time, and had never been particularly comfortable with the steam plant I was working in, anyways. Having those ten sailors killed, not because of anything they did, by being cooked alive, was the stuff of nightmares.


Similarly when I got out of the Navy and came to Rochester there was an accident at a local large-scale freezer plant: A forklift operator drove a loaded forklift over a section of flooring which covered one of the major supply pipes for the ammonia refrigeration system. The flooring and piping collapsed while the forklift was traveling over it. And everyone involved with the clean up could only hope that the poor guy died instantly - because the combination of caustic and temperature effects from the concentrated ammonia was that horrific. Certainly no one tried to rescue the guy.

beowulff
09-05-2008, 11:09 AM
I think this one rates right up there: http://local1259iaff.org/disaster.html

The Grandcamp's explosion triggered the worst industrial disaster, resulting in the largest number of casualties, in American history.

Zsofia
09-05-2008, 11:40 AM
I think this one rates right up there: http://local1259iaff.org/disaster.html

"Mother was able to account for all our family except my father, Warren Marshall Barger, and Sheila's dad, Joe Smith Alford. Uncle Dick Barger and I searched every aid station, clinic, hospital and morgue looking for them, hoping for a miracle. Mr. Alford was seen in the Marine Hospital. He was facing the Grandcamp and was blown through a Quonset hut and lost a leg. He spent many years trying to forget the event before he died. My father was the Light Oils Dept. supervisor at Republic. He and the rest of management were on the docks trying to get the ship moved from port - they had a Barrel House operation there. Dad was walking up the gangplank of the Grandcamp.
About six weeks after the blast, a portion of his body involving a leg, part of his torso and neck was found, indentified by dental records, and hair matched with hair from one of his many hats. This part of him was interred in the family burial plot. If other parts were ever found, they are buried at the memorial park for the unidentified dead."

bump
09-05-2008, 09:28 PM
Here is a list of significant disasters (http://easternct.edu/depts/amerst/disasters.htm)

My first thought was the Texas City disaster (http://essortment.com/all/texascityexplo_rkvi.htm) in 1947.


Or the Galveston hurricane of 1900 (http://disastercenter.com/texas/1900GH.htm) that killed more than 8000 people.

My dad's family has been in the Galveston/Texas City/La Marque area for something like 150 years, and my mom grew up in Galveston.

It's still kind of shocking to hear people tell stories about "the 1900 storm"- it's really kind of a neat thing in terms of how stories get passed down through generations.

And as to the Texas City Disaster, it's kind of strange- the county cemetary has a BIG section where the dead were buried. It was a shock the first time my grandmother was telling me about all the various people in the cemetery and sort of waved a hand and said "That area over there is where they buried the people killed in the Texas City Disaster. They had to buy a pasture to hold 'em all."

My dad mentioned that growing up in that area, it was not at all uncommon to see people around his age (63) with scars on their heads and faces- apparently in those days, people put their babies' cribs near the windows, and the blast blew all the windows in for miles, putting cuts on the babies. (he was in Galveston, far enough away to not have the windows blow out)

El_Kabong
09-05-2008, 10:05 PM
The OP's link contains a further link to the first one that came to mind for me: Piper Alpha (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Piper_Alpha). By sheer coincidence, I was doing safety training for some new hires today and was using that as an example of failure of work permitting practices.

Great choice for the poor schlubs who survived the initial explosion and fire: burn to death on the platform, or freeze to death in the sea.

Ignatz
09-05-2008, 11:27 PM
And on a lighter side, there is the Bricklayer Story. Although this source cites it as a song, I first heard it told by a state commissioner of labor at an industrial safety training session:


http://themadmusicarchive.com/song_details.aspx?SongID=2192

Xema
09-05-2008, 11:39 PM
Or the Galveston hurricane of 1900 (http://disastercenter.com/texas/1900GH.htm) that killed more than 8000 people.
Shocking, certainly - but it wouldn't appear to qualify as industrial.

Harmonious Discord
09-05-2008, 11:45 PM
Train wrecks are always nasty as paddle wheeler and steam tramp boiler explosions. Mine explosions, tunnel excavation accidents, and lumber harvesting and milling accidents have always been gruesome.

Sydenham, Sydney
Five people died and 748 were injured when two passenger trains collided.
http://danger-ahead.railfan.net/accidents/chronologies/australia.html

KRC
09-06-2008, 01:13 AM
There was the time the Department of the Interior accidently burnt down large areas of the town of Los Alamos NM.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cerro_Grande_Fire

I don't think anyone was killed in that one but many people lost their homes.

torie
09-06-2008, 02:35 AM
Can anyone beat the Byford Dolphin diving bell incident (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Byford_Dolphin#Diving_bell_accident)?

:eek: :eek:

Can someone explain this in not-so-technical language? I don't really get what happened because I can't visualize the chamber and the bells, nor can i figure out why they or the men were there. Were they underwater, these chambers?

I shouldn't read threads like this in the middle of the night right before I'm about to go to sleep. I'll have great dreams tonight, for sure. :eek::o:(

torie
09-06-2008, 02:55 AM
Can someone explain this in not-so-technical language? I don't really get what happened because I can't visualize the chamber and the bells, nor can i figure out why they or the men were there. Were they underwater, these chambers?

I shouldn't read threads like this in the middle of the night right before I'm about to go to sleep. I'll have great dreams tonight, for sure. :eek::o:(

I missed the edit window before I realized I wasn't explaining myself very well. Why would opening that door result in such a drop (rise?) in air pressure? Where were the men who opened the door? Were they underwater? I'm so confused.

OtakuLoki
09-06-2008, 03:09 AM
I missed the edit window before I realized I wasn't explaining myself very well. Why would opening that door result in such a drop (rise?) in air pressure? Where were the men who opened the door? Were they underwater? I'm so confused.


This is my interpretation, and I may have some of the details off. I think it is going to be good enough to get you started, but I may have some errors, so if someone contradicts me, they may be closer to right than I am.


Because of the difficulties with pressure and decompression, deep sea divers will often work out of a diving tender platform kept at an elevated platform so that they don't have to decompress to go off shift. Rather they'll stay in a hyperbaric environment and eat and rest while still acclimated to the pressure.

The way I'm reading this incident, the diving platform was sealed and pressed up to 9 ATM pressure, to allow the divers to avoid decompression times while they kept going on and off shift during a job that was expected to take several shifts.

But, since the tender is basically a support platform, it's easier to supply the needs of the divers in it, if it's at the surface - it means less engineering requirements for getting air, water, food, power into the unit, and similarly makes taking waste out easier, too.

The diving bell was what would take the divers down from the platform to the job site, and was meant to be kept pressurized during the whole ascent and descent so that the divers were at a constant pressure environment. When the door was opened improperly the 9 ATM of pressure inside the tender was vented to the outside, and through the poor guy who got in the way.

The two divers mentioned as being dive tenders were outside the platform, and operating at surface conditions - taking care of everything outside the platform as the bell was raised and lowered.

I hope that this answers your question, torie.

groman
09-06-2008, 03:13 AM
I missed the edit window before I realized I wasn't explaining myself very well. Why would opening that door result in such a drop (rise?) in air pressure? Where were the men who opened the door? Were they underwater? I'm so confused.


The way I understand it, there were four divers inside an above-water decompression chamber under high pressure (9 atm). They arrived via a diving bell after a dive that was probably hoisted out of the water and docked with the decompression chamber by using an airlock.

There were two tenders outside the chamber, in open air that probably just helped hoist the diving bell and dock it to the decompression chamber. The chamber has an inner chamber with its own airlock. I assume what happened is that one of the tenders assumed the divers were already in the inner chamber with the airlock closed, and opened the latch to detach the diving bell, explosively decompressing both chambers.

torie
09-06-2008, 07:27 PM
Ok, yes, I understand now. Thanks, you two. :)

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